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Ann Pharmacother. 1995 Dec;29(12):1224-7.

Establishment of a drug information service on a public-access computer bulletin board.

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Department of Nuclear Medicine, State University of New York at Buffalo 14214, USA.



Computerized bulletin board services (BBSs) have existed for several decades; in recent years there has been increased use and acceptance. We have established a drug information service called The Pharmacy on a local public-access BBS, the Cleveland FreeNet. The goal of this service is to provide drug information to the lay public as well as healthcare professionals.


The Pharmacy is divided into 4 areas: (1) About the Pharmacy, which provides instructions for use; (2) Drug Information, which contains postings on selected drug information topics that are prepared by the BBS staff; (3) Pharmacy Questions, the most popular feature, where FreeNet users are invited to post questions, the answers to which are provided by clinical, staff, and consultant pharmacists, as well as baccalaureate and graduate pharmacy students; and (4) Investigational Studies, where patient recruitment for investigational studies is done.


A total of 259 questions have been posted in the first 3 years of operation. An average of 5.2, 7.78, and 8.7 questions/month have been posted in 1992, 1993, and 1994, respectively. Four drug information monographs have been prepared and posted, and approximately 5 investigational studies have been advertised.


A computerized BBS is a new means of distributing drug information to the public and healthcare professionals. In addition to meeting a need for a public service of drug information in the community, it permits increased visibility for pharmacists and a unique learning experience for students.

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