Patients often come to their pharmacists with many questions about the medications they use. It could be because the written directions on drug labels can be difficult for patients to interpret, the medications may be in separate bottles or vials without any labeling, they may be mixed in one vial or bottle, they might have similar shape and color, and so on.
Pharmacists should be able to provide prompt and accurate information. There are many textbook and online resources that can help pharmacist identify each of the medications and provide patients with an information.
Such resources can also be useful to pharmacy students helping them find quick information for a patient or an exam preparation.
Mobile apps are particularly useful. They can serve as pocket resources on-the-go for pharmacists and pharmacy students, providing accurate, in-depth, and prompt answers for both patients and fellow pharmacists.
Here, we listed some of the most useful apps for pharmacist and pharmacy students.
Epocrates app is certainly the first stop, not only for pharmacists, but also for physicians, clinicians, and other healthcare professionals. It's one of the oldest medical apps that are still relevant and essential in medical practice.
The hallmark of the Epocrates app is certainly its Drugs section that provides comprehensive and exhaustive information about various medications, including detailed pharmacology, dosing, interaction check, pill identifier, and more.
The app also provides other useful features, such as evidence-based patient-oriented guidelines from trusted resources and secure text messaging for healthcare providers.
Epocrates app is available for free on Android and iOS.
Lexicomp app is probably the best and the most comprehensive medication reference app around. It provides clear and concise drug information, including dosing, administration, warnings, and precautions, as well as high-quality clinical content, not only to pharmacists, but physicians, dentists, and students as well.
However, unlike Epocrates app, Lexicomp requires a subscription that ranges from $175 to $798 per year, depending on the package you choose.
Institutions such as medical schools, hospitals, and other health facilities can create an institutional account, allowing their physicians or students to use the app with the institution's account.
New users can also try Lexicomp before making a purchase. The app also allows anyone to register and access all the databases for 30 days for free. However, as I said in my review of the Lexicomp app, I'm not sure that one month is enough to browse through all the information provided in this app.
Lexicomp looks like dozens of medical books, or more accurate, the whole medical school placed in one app.
Lexicomp is available on both iOS and Android.
Monthly Prescribing Reference, also known among pharmacists and physicians as MPR app is all-in-one drug information resource that provides the concise point-of-care prescribing information and tools that allow providers to quickly make better prescribing decisions.
MPR app offers prescribing information for over 4,300 Rx and OTC products, organized by therapeutic area and health condition, that can also be searched by brand name, generic name, disease/condition, or company.
The app also contains 150+ clinical charts for quick product comparisons as well as treatment algorithms and guidelines, as well as 100+ medical calculators for complex formula, scores, and classifications.
There is also a news section providing the latest news on drug therapy and hot topics in medicine, that users can customize to their scope of practice.
The most important thing is that MPR app is available for free on Android and iOS devices.
Elsevier Clinical Pharmacology App
Clinical Pharmacology app by Elsevier is another great drug reference tool that provides quick and accurate answers to all drug questions. The answers are compiled by the editorial team consisting entirely of Doctors of Pharmacy.
Pharmacists can use the app to perform a quick search by drug name, indications, adverse reactions, or to browse drugs by monograph or classification.
The app also allows pharmacists to easily identify pills by imprint, shape, color, scoring or dosage form. It also contains two evidence-supported clinical algorithms to quickly identify drug interactions or adverse reactions.
Clinical Pharmacology app is free to download on Android and iOS, however, it requires an individual or institutional subscription.
iPharmacy app helps pharmacists and other medical providers, as well as patients, stay on top of prescribed drugs providing exhaustive information on thousands of different medications.
The app is a detailed drug reference, pill reminder, pill identifier, price checker and saver, and many more.
According to the app developers, there's more than 20,000 drugs available in iPharmacy app you can browse or search through. If the medication isn't on the list, you can easily add it by using the Custom Drug option. This works easily thanks to Barcode Scanner that uses your phone camera to scan the barcode from the medication package.
The app's outdated design isn't a serious drawback, however, the lack of reference links to medical resources is. This is the reason why iPharmacy app didn't score better in our review.
It's available for free on iOS and Android.
Understanding mechanisms of drug action, i.e. how medications work is important to pharmacists and students, yet difficult at the same time, mostly because of the complexity of those mechanisms.
To make things a bit easier, the Dutch-based Teaching Resource Centre (TRC) introduced new methods for the teaching of clinical pharmacology and therapeutics, available as E-learning program and a mobile app.
This method helps pharmacists, clinicians, and medical students understand main pharmacological mechanisms of drug action for various diseases, which are presented in separate sections.
Each section contains detailed illustrated diagrams, which contribute to a better understanding of drug mechanisms.
TRC app is available for free on Android and iOS.
Pocket Pharmacist App
Pocket Pharmacist is all-rounder tool providing pharmacists and patients with comprehensive information on 1,700+ drugs available in the U.S., interaction checker, Med Box – a medication organizer and reminder, and Chat, a forum for users who want to communicate with others about medications and other drug-related health topics.
The app is available for free, however, only on iOS.
Our score: N/A
Pharmacy Lab Values App
Pharmacy Lab Values is a free app developed by a pharmacy student with a goal to provide relevant information on over a 150 lab values to pharmacists, students, and other healthcare professionals.
The information provided in the app is meant as quick reference, so Pharmacy Lab Values app lacks detailed descriptions of the values, as well as critical values.
Another 'drawback' is its limited availability to Android devices only.
Our score: N/A