The International Society of Drug Bulletins (ISDB) is a worldwide network of bulletins on drugs and therapeutics, which are financially and intellectually independent of the pharmaceutical industry. ISDB was founded in 1986 with the support of the WHO Regional Office for Europe, and particularly of Graham Dukes and Inga Lunde. Its overall aim is to assist the development of independent drug bulletins and to facilitate cooperation among them.
People producing independent drug bulletins face common difficulties. These include the challenge of starting and sustaining a publication with few resources, working in isolation and perhaps being a lone voice in promoting rational prescribing of medicines. Being a member of ISDB means being part of a worldwide network of like-minded individuals and organizations who face similar challenges, and who can share experiences, ideas and resources, support each other and act together. The Society is a membership organization, governed by a general assembly, which meets every three years. The primary sources of funding of ISDB are the annual membership fees and members’ donations. Other funding, which has traditionally been ad hoc, has come from WHO and, for general assemblies, workshops and summer schools, from other organizations such as Health Action International, various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and from local bodies (e.g. universities, public health schools, ministries, city councils).
To be eligible for membership of ISDB, a bulletin must meet certain criteria that demonstrate its independence:
• It must be run by an independent editorial team, working within an organizational structure capable of guaranteeing editorial independence.
• It must have financial resources that guarantee independence, such as public financing through a national or local government, financing by a non-governmental organization or self-financing through reader subscriptions or membership fees.
• It must carry no advertising relating to therapeutic or diagnostic activities.
ISDB has over 50 members representing 30 countries around the world. Member bulletins can carry the Society’s logo on the publication as a mark of quality and independence. ISDB publishes a newsletter to inform members of the Society’s business. It is published three times per year and distributed free of charge to all members. The Society’s web site (http://www.isdbweb.org) contains the constitution, a directory of members and links to members’ web sites, details of how to join the Society and a password-protected area accessible only to members.
To find out more about ISDB, including how to join, visit the web site