Faculty of Pharmacy-developed drug interaction database goes national

12 February 2013

A unique herb-drug interactions database developed and maintained by the University of Sydney Faculty of Pharmacy was introduced last December to the national MIMS database service and made readily available to health professionals around the country.

The project was headed up in 2002 by Professor Andrew McLachlan, Professor Basil Roufogalis and Research Assistant Michael Dolton and was made accessible via UnityHealth website, IMgateway in 2009.

Late last year, UnityHealth and MIMS joined forces to deliver the evidence-based herb-drug interactions data to all healthcare professionals' fingertips through the eMIMS online product, completing a deal forged in 2010.

"For healthcare professionals, the primary barrier to recommending complementary medicines is safety concerns around patients on multiple prescription medications, or with complex health issues," MIMS said in a statement.

Professor Andrew McLachlan described the alliance as "an important development in the delivery of evidence-based information on herbal/nutritional medicine interactions with pharmaceutical drugs for health professionals and consumers".

The database module allows doctors, pharmacists and other health professionals to retrieve information on clinically-significant drug and herb interactions. A search for data on complementary medicine against a prescription medicine (or vice-versa) will produce a recommendation on whether the combination should be avoided or requires caution.

These clinical recommendations are based the National Health and Medical Research Council's levels of evidence scale, with the interactions data provided by the Faculty's research teams, including evidence from trials conducted by researchers in the Faculty.

"There has been a growing demand for this information from doctors, pharmacists and other health professions," said Professor McLachlan.

"The alliance with MIMS provides an excellent opportunity to disseminate the information developed by the Faculty of Pharmacy."

Contact: Chris Beaumont

Phone: 02 9351 2311

Email: 1e23573b01560c2e195d3916072b45223a28172b2a3c0a104d7e5521235e0313