As soon as a group of people get together and decide to jointly establish a drug bulletin they will need some kind of organizational structure. Without an organizational structure it is difficult to agree on the mission of the group, make decisions, determine working procedures, manage finances and establish legal and contractual relationships with others. The credibility of a drug bulletin depends on a number of factors, including the quality of the information provided, the independence of the editorial board, good editorial procedures and financial independence. A sound economic and organizational base helps to provide for these.
A new bulletin may find it difficult to form its own organization at first. Many bulletins start with two or three doctors or pharmacists working from an office or their clinical practice. If the bulletin remains a small initiative its editors may feel no immediate need to create an organization. However, some of the principles regarding legal responsibility discussed in this chapter may still be relevant. Many new bulletins benefit from the hospitality of another organization. In some cases that organization becomes the bulletin’s permanent home. For example, many drug bulletins are part of a medical or public health school, a health ministry, a hospital or a drug information centre. Being part of another organization has helped bulletins to become established.
Several bulletins have published notes describing the way they work and their organizational structure. This can be very helpful because it makes it clear to readers where the bulletin is from and how the work of the bulletin is undertaken. For examples see DTB [http://www.dtb.org.uk/dtb/content/index.html]; Geneesmiddelenbulletin [http://www.geneesmiddelenbulletin.nl/]; la revue Prescrire, [http://www.prescrire.org/signature/qui/index.php].