Starting or Strengthening a Drug Bulletin - A Practical Manual
(2005; 165 pages) View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentPreface
View the documentHow the manual was produced
View the documentAbout ISDB
View the documentExecutive summary
Open this folder and view contents1. Introduction
Open this folder and view contents2. Rational use of medicines
Open this folder and view contents3. What are drug bulletins?
Close this folder4. Defining aims, target and type of bulletin
View the document4.1 Principles
View the document4.2 What is already available?
View the document4.3 Information on drug utilisation helps you choose topics
View the document4.4 Defining and refining the aims of the bulletin
View the document4.5 Who are the readers?
View the document4.6 What type of information is needed?
Open this folder and view contents5. Planning resources
Open this folder and view contents6. Planning bulletin production: schedules and timing
Open this folder and view contents7. The editorial process
Open this folder and view contents8. Reviewing a new drug: is it a therapeutic advance?
Open this folder and view contentsAnnexe to Chapter 8: Evaluating harm
Open this folder and view contents9. Design and production
Open this folder and view contents10. Dissemination
Open this folder and view contents11. Organizational and legal issues
Open this folder and view contents12. Evaluating quality and usefulness
Open this folder and view contents13. Partnership and collaboration
Open this folder and view contents14. Keeping records and creating a memory
Open this folder and view contentsAppendix: Electronic sources of information
 

4.4 Defining and refining the aims of the bulletin

If you have decided that you want to produce a drug bulletin, you will already have some idea of what you are trying to achieve. Review why you wanted a bulletin, then consider if others share your views. If your aims are inappropriate for the readers then the bulletin is unlikely to succeed. Several different aims are worth pursuing and most bulletins have more than one. They may include:

• improving prescribing, dispensing and use of drugs;
• warning of adverse effects;
• advising on therapeutic problems;
• reviewing new drugs, including their cost-effectiveness;
• advocating change, e.g. calling for a national drug policy, or a regulatory improvement;
• criticising activities of the pharmaceutical industry, e.g. the accuracy of advertisements;
• reporting on drug utilisation studies.


A bulletin usually combines education and information. A bulletin that is easy to read is more likely to be read. To succeed a bulletin must have credibility. It should regularly provide reliable, unbiased information that is relevant to its readers. Where possible the material should be referenced so that readers can see that it is evidence-based.

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