The Samford University Global Drug Information Service (SUGDIS) is a fee-for-service operation housed in the McWhorter School of Pharmacy in Birmingham, Alabama that focuses on three core activities: service, education, and research. This unique center provides comprehensive drug information services to over 17 clients within a variety of health care settings (e.g., hospitals, nursing home).
Since Samford University is not directly affiliated with a hospital, SUGDIS was started as a subscription service to meet the drug information needs of health care professionals within Alabama and surrounding states. For a very reasonable annual fee, each subscriber has access to comprehensive drug information services. Access to pharmacy faculty specialists and medical experts as consultants to SUGDIS expand the expertise available to answer questions and solve problems for the Center's subscribers.
Because the SUGDIS personnel are active consultants for many different hospitals and other health care entities in addition to participating in national organizations, their extended perspectives benefit the subscribers. Responding to drug information requests occupies approximately 35% of daily activities while a portion of the remaining time is involved at the drug policy level with P&T, IRB, CQI, and Infection Control Committee support. Formulary evaluation is another crucial responsibility for SUGDIS as is continuing education for medical, pharmacy, and nursing personnel.
The overall services provided include, but are not limited to, drug information consults, committee support (Pharmacy and Therapeutics [P&T], Institutional Review Board [IRB], Infection Control), formulary management, policy and procedure development, drug therapy practice guidelines generation, drug formulary list generation, an Antibiotic Management Program, Drug Usage Evaluation (DUE) and Adverse Drug Reaction (ADR) programs, outcome analyses, medical writing, and nursing home consulting. Teaching programs include didactic courses in Drug Information Systems and Drug Literature Evaluation and the experiential based precepting of Pharm.D. students completing the Drug Information Advanced Practice Experience (i.e., clerkship rotation). Information services are provided to health care professionals of the subscribing institutions and Samford faculty by a staff of drug information specialists and residents, McWhorter School of Pharmacy librarian and clerical support. SUGDIS has an extensive resource collection of both print and online databases.
Pharmacists are integral members of the health-care team and provide objective, comprehensive, unbiased information for health-care decisions and problem solving. In addition, pharmacists are assuming greater non-dispensing roles that include providing direct patient care counseling, evaluating medications for formulary status, developing drug therapy protocols, conducting MUE and DUEs, maintaining ADR programs and conducting pharmacoeconomics analysis.
In addition, the advancements in technology and health sciences have made a profound effect on the manner in which pharmacy and medicine are practiced today. The quantity of information and methods of access (e.g., wireless) are increasing at an extraordinary rate.
Pharmacists must be able to systematically locate, analyze, and deliver the information in an efficient manner to meet the needs of the requester and/or institution. However, pharmacists must be cautious of researched materials and/or other information presented to them. Misleading information is present among the publications; therefore, all health-care professionals needs to have the ability to evaluate and interpret biomedical literature to appropriately apply in practice.
The primary goal of the following required drug information courses is to prepare the individual to serve as an effective provider of drug information. An effective provider perceives, assesses, and evaluates drug information needs; and retrieves, evaluates, communicates, and applies data from the published literature and other sources as an integral component of pharmaceutical care. The Drug Information faculty follow the “Consensus-Derived Objectives for Drug Information Education” developed during the 1991 Drug Information Conference held in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The SUGDIS (Samford University Global Drug Information Service) website (the “Site”) functions as a resource for pharmacy students and faculty and is maintained by faculty and staff at Samford University. (See other main objectives on SUGDIS Home page.)
Neither Samford University nor its trustees, employees, volunteers or affiliates (“Samford”) is dispensing medical advice or pharmacy consultation services through SUGDIS. The information provided throughout the Site is not intended to be a replacement for appropriate medical and/or pharmacy care. Any information regarding drug usage, medical interpretation, and/or drug literature analysis strictly represents the opinions of the faculty and staff providing such information.
Users of the Site do so at their own risk. While faculty and staff make every effort to ensure the accuracy and timeliness of the information contained on the Site, there is no guaranty that the information provided is accurate, current or applicable to any specific individual. Accordingly, Samford shall not be responsible for the continued currency of the information, discrepancies, or errors appearing on the Site and shall in no event be liable for injuries (including death) to any party which may occur as a result of reliance upon any materials provided on the Site, the misinterpretation thereof or adverse drug reactions that may occur.
SUGDIS funding is provided by the McWhorter School of Pharmacy, Samford University, and contractural clients. (See the DI Services Web Page for detailed information regarding types of services available.) There are no known conflicts of interest associated with SUGDIS receiving funding from these sources.
All drug information requests are handled in a manner that is consistent with state and federal requirements for the confidentiality of medical information.
Advertising via the Site is prohibited and no visitor tracking mechanisms are utilized.
The Site may include links to third-party web sites; however, Samford does not endorse the content of such websites. Samford is not responsible for the content of linked third-party sites, or third-party advertisements, and does not make any representations regarding their content or accuracy. Use of third-party websites is at the user’s own risk and subject to the terms and conditions of use for such sites. Samford does not endorse any product, service, or treatment appearing on the Site.
Name and contact information is collected from the requestors in order to respond to drug information requests. This information is not passed on to a third party; however, we may contact them at another time to obtain feedback about their experience with the DI center as a continuous quality improvement exercise. Other than drug information requests, no information (emails or otherwise) regarding any visitor information to any of these Web pages are keep, stored or recorded in any matter.