Diagnosis of a Pharmacist`s Information Need and Source

Diagnosis of a Pharmacist’s Information Need
And Source Recommendations
Deedra Totten
Emporia State University
Diagnosis of a Pharmacist’s Information Need and Source Recommendations
My sister, a Pharmacist, recently received notice from the FDA that a certain drug’s name
had been changed. The drug formula remained the same, making her wonder the reasoning
behind the name change.
The Interview
The initial information request did not adequately describe what she was really looking
for. She first asked, “I would like information about Kapidex”. I thought this was a good
example of a client compromising the question perhaps to make it simpler. Because I did not
have any knowledge of Kapidex, I first asked her to explain to me what it was. After she
described it to me as being “one of the newest, if not the newest antacids approved by the FDA
and available on the market,” I was able to get a better understanding of the general subject area
for searching—drug information.
Even though I learned what Kapidex is, her request for information was still too broad. I
went on to ask her if there was something more specific that she would like to know about this
drug. She then elaborated saying, “Yes, it has recently had its name changed and I would like to
know why? Or the history of the name change.” I also asked her if she needed this information
for a specific purpose, and she replied that it was purely out of personal curiosity. At this point
in the interview I assessed her information need and asked her, “So let me see if I understand
what you’re looking for…..You want to know why Kapidex, a drug, has recently had its name
changed?’ She agreed and then added, “Yes, as well as any other previous examples of similar
At this time, I felt like I had an adequate understanding of what she was looking for. In
order to conduct a thorough search I knew I would need appropriate search terms. So I asked
her, “Is there any certain terminology or reasons you can think would be associated with
instances of name changes in drugs?” She replied, “Well, the only thing I can think of is the term
“look alike, sound alike” (LASA) situation, which is when two drugs have similar names.” We
created a list of terms: “Kapidex”, “Dexlansoprazole” (the generic name), “Dexilant” (the new
name of the drug), “Look alike, sound alike”, “LASA”, and “Drug similarity.” Armed with my
search terms, I was prepared to begin the search.
The Information Search and Results
Because the field of pharmaceuticals and medicine is ever-changing, I decided electronic
journals (through databases) would be a good place to start. Databases with electronic journals
are perfect for this because not only do they have current, up-to-date resources, but they also
provide access to retrospective articles. I thought for the preliminary search it would be good to
search a general medical database. So I began my search looking in PubMed, where I searched
“Kapidex” and “LASA”, ending with no results. I then searched “Dexilant”, ending with no
results as well. Since both of my first two searches yielded zero results, I switched gears and
searched DialogWeb. I searched through FDA News for “Dexilant” and finally yielded one
result. This article proved to be exactly what she wanted to learn about the first part of her
question of why “Kapidex” was changed to “Dexilant”.
The next part of her information request was to learn about other instances of
medicines/drugs whose names had been changed due to “look alike, sound alike”. For this part, I
searched Gale’s Health Reference Center for “Medication errors” and “look alike”. This
database proved to be successful, as I found several useful sources. The client was happy with
the selection of resources and the information search concluded.
This assignment proved to be a challenge mainly for the fact that I didn’t know anything
about the topic. Because of this, I had to rely on the client for appropriate search terms. One of
the biggest challenges is to know where to look when you know very little about what you are
searching for. I realize it is important to become extremely familiar with your sources, and how
to search them properly. I am still learning the ins and outs of searching, and I assume my
inexperience may have contributed to “no result” searches. Many clients I assume do not have
the patience to sit and wait for extended periods of time for the Information Professional to
locate information. This skill is something I believe develops with more experience.
Overall, the client diagnosis went successfully. Using open/neutral questioning I was
able to break through a compromised question to discover the real information need. I was then
able to work with the client to learn more about the topic, and develop search terms. In the end,
the client expressed satisfaction with the information found and that was my main goal.