Many drug bulletins face difficult circumstances, especially when they are first starting, or when resources are limited, as in many developing countries. It may be difficult to obtain needed information, professional advice, financing and the means to assure the drug bulletin’s independence. Collaboration and supportive partnerships are crucial for a new drug bulletin, and can play a key role in the future success of the organization. Every drug bulletin, regardless of the level of its development and experience, can gain strength through the support of other similar publications. This was one of the main motives for creating an international network of drug bulletins, ISDB.
An unpredictable aspect of publishing a bulletin that cannot be ignored is the possibility of legal problems arising from the publication of critical articles and reviews. The existence of reliable partners at national, regional or international levels not only lends support to a bulletin but also enables it to act more independently. Several drug bulletins, such as CITO in Latvia and Geneesmiddelenbulletin in the Netherlands, have faced situations where the support of other organizations enabled them to counter opposition successfully and to continue publishing their bulletin.
As in personal relationships, a prerequisite for successful partnerships and collaboration is that the different parties know each other well enough to establish a relationship that satisfies the needs of the weaker partner without making undue demands on the partners who are providing support.