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J Med Libr Assoc. 2014 Jan;102(1):47-51. doi: 10.3163/1536-5050.102.1.009.

An evaluation of pharmacogenomic information provided by five common drug information resources.

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  • 1(corresponding author), , Director, Rose Library Services, University Libraries, James Madison University, 1251 Carrier Drive, MSC 4601, Harrisonburg, VA 22807; , Clinical Assistant Professor, Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina, 204 A Beard Hall, CB #7574, Chapel Hill, NC 27599; , Clinical Assistant Professor, Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina, 204 C Beard Hall, CB #7574, Chapel Hill, NC 27599; williamsmaryk@hotmail .com , Adjunct Assistant Professor, Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina, 30085 Britt, Chapel Hill, NC 27517.



This study evaluated whether pharmacogenomic information contained in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved package inserts of sixty-five drugs was present in five drug information resources.


The study searched for biomarkers from the FDA package inserts in 5 drug information sources: American Hospital Formulary Service Drug Information (AHFS), Facts & Comparisons 4.0 (Facts), ePocrates Online Free (ePocrates Free), Lexicomp Online (Lexicomp), and Micromedex 2.0. Each resource had the opportunity to present biomarker information for 65 drugs, a total of 325 opportunities. A binary system was used to indicate presence or absence of the biomarker information. A sub-analysis was performed on the 13 most frequently prescribed drugs in the United States.


Package insert biomarker information was available, on average, for 81.5% of the 65 FDA-listed drugs in 2011. Percent availability for the individual resources was: Lexicomp, 95.3%; Micromedex 2.0, 92.3%; Facts, 76.9%; AHFS, 75.3%; and ePocrates Free, 67.7%. The sub-analysis of the 13 top drugs showed Lexicomp and Micromedex 2.0 had the most mentions, 92.3%; ePocrates Free had the least, 53.8%.


The strongest resource for pharmacogenomic information was Lexicomp. The gap between Lexicomp and ePocrates Free is concerning. Clinicians would miss pharmacogenomic information 6.6 times more often in ePocrates Free than in Lexicomp.


Health sciences librarians should be aware of the variation in biomarker availability when recommending drug resources for licensing and use. Librarians can also use this study to encourage publishers to include pharmacogenomics information from the package insert as a minimum standard.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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