How to Establish a Drug and Toxicology Information Center in a Developing Country. Essential Drugs Monitor No. 016 (1993)
(1993; 2 pages)


Although drug and toxicology information centres are often found separately in developed countries, developing countries should consider creating combined centres due to limited personnel and resources. Kasilo and Nhachi set forth guidelines for the creation of such a centre based on a combined drug and toxicology information centre in Zimbabwe that has been operational since 1979. They believe adequate access to essential information is necessary to the function of such centres; therefore, they emphasize documentation and the establishment of a hierarchical library containing information from both internal and external sources. They recommend staffing the centre with multidisciplinary personnel, including a full-time clinical pharmacist to act as head of service, two full-time pharmacists to aid in teaching, a research fellow, and a staff development fellow. They also recommend using advisors in necessary areas, a full-time trained secretary, and additional clerical staff. The importance of having up-to-date equipment, adequate space and transport, and involvement in research is stressed as being essential to providing adequate care and information. They believe that a joint centre may be financed publicly or privately, but must be recognized by the government regardless. If funded with public money, the centre should be free to use, especially during emergencies. They strongly recommend that such a centre be associated with a hospital or an academic institution. This association would allow for improved access to external sources of information and research. It would also facilitate the incorporation of drug and toxicology information into training and education for current and future health care personnel. (Abstract by Flannery Bowman, 2013)

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