Tertiary drug information sources for treatment and prevention of COVID-19


  • Robert D. Beckett Clinical Standard Coordinator, Parkview Health, Fort Wayne, IN https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6487-6683
  • Yashawna Brattain Manchester University College of Health Sciences and Pharmacy, Fort Wayne, IN
  • Judy Truong Drug Information Resident, Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, Omaha, NE
  • Genevieve Engle Director of the Drug Information Center and Associate Professor, Belmont University College of Pharmacy, Nashville, TN




Drug Information, Tertiary Databases, COVID-19, Evaluation Studies


Objective: To evaluate tertiary drug information databases in terms of scope, consistency of content, and completeness of COVID-19 drug information.

Methods: Five electronic drug information databases: Clinical Pharmacology, Lexi-Drugs, AHFS DI (American Hospital Formulary Service Drug Information), eFacts and Comparisons, and Micromedex In-Depth Answers, were evaluated in this cross-sectional evaluation study, with data gathered from October 2021 through February 2022. Two study investigators independently extracted data (parallel extraction) from each resource. Descriptive statistics were primarily used to evaluate scope (i.e., whether the resource addresses use of the medication for treatment or prevention of COVID-19) and completeness of content (i.e., whether full information is provided related to the use of the medication for treatment or prevention of COVID-19) based on a 10-point scale. To analyze consistency among resources for scope, the Fleiss multi-rater kappa was used. To analyze consistency among resources for type of recommendation (i.e., in favor, insufficient evidence, against), a two-way mixed effects intraclass coefficient was calculated.

Results: A total of 46 drug monographs, including 3 vaccination monographs, were evaluated. Use of the agents for treatment of COVID-19 was most frequently addressed in Lexi-Drugs (73.9%), followed by eFacts and Comparisons (71.7%), and Micromedex (54.3%). The highest overall median completeness score was held by AHFS DI followed by Micromedex, and Clinical Pharmacology. There was moderate consistency in terms of scope (kappa 0.490, 95% CI 0.399-0.581, p<0.001) and recommendations (intraclass correlation coefficient 0.518, 95% CI 0.385-0.651, p<0.001).


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Original Investigation