Chapter 7 contains a detailed discussion about books and journals that are useful to drug bulletins, as well as suggestions for key references for bulletins with limited finances. It is useful to subscribe to national and local health journals in order to keep abreast of current trends and events and develop locally relevant articles.
The Internet is another very useful resource as it provides instant worldwide access to information. The cost of Internet access may still be prohibitive in some developing countries, but this is changing fast. It provides access to many useful and sometimes free sources of information (see the appendix at the end of the manual).
Wherever possible it is a good idea to link drug bulletins with other drug information services. If a telephone, hospital or clinic-based service is providing answers to individual questions, it is a logical step to write down the answers to the most frequently asked questions and then to disseminate these in the form of written information. For example, Nepal’s Drug and Therapeutics Letter is an integral part of the Drug Information Unit of Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH). The physical, material and human resources available in the Unit come in very handy while preparing or editing articles for the bulletin and also in its distribution. Moreover, the drug information service sometimes helps to identify areas of need that can be addressed in the bulletin. The bulletin has also been used to publicise the information service and to contribute new reference materials. Such an integrated approach to drug information provision gives increased credibility as well as organizational support.1
It is desirable to have a furnished office and a computer with printer and an e-mail connection to produce a bulletin. If possible you should try to secure these facilities, but they are not indispensable. For example, when the Drug Information Unit at TUTH was first established, it had no computer and e-mail facilities and everything was done manually.