The iconic Physicians' Desk Reference (PDR®) found in every physician's office, clinic and hospital is merging with the Health Care Notification Network (HCNN), the only network that delivers FDA-required drug Alerts to physicians and other prescribers online. The combination, which will operate as the newly formed PDR Network, creates a unique end-to-end solution fulfilling manufacturers' need to deliver FDA-approved product safety information to prescribers, and also prescribers' need-to-know this information on a reference and real-time basis. FDA-approved drug labeling, product-safety Alerts, recalls, and information for prescribers on the new FDA-required REMS programs will be delivered through the PDR Network.
The PDR is distributed to all practicing U.S. physicians and contains the FDA-approved information for commonly prescribed drugs. It is the most routinely used drug information source in the U.S., the primary means by which manufacturers fulfill their 'duty to warn' prescribers about drug details including safety issues, and the primary drug information source routinely cited in drug-related litigation. The HCNN is the only online network used to deliver real-time FDA-required product safety notices from manufacturers to prescribers, often including updates to the product information contained within the PDR. The PDR-HCNN combination provides a ubiquitous drug reference as well as real-time updates and Alerts, via the HCNN, PDR electronic channels, and select partners, to fulfill expanding FDA requirements and prescriber needs. The services are provided at no charge to U.S. physicians and other prescribers.
"The PDR-HCNN combination is a logical and powerful service that supports patient safety," said Nancy Dickey, MD, past-president of the American Medical Association (AMA) and chair of the not-for-profit iHealth Alliance board, which governs the HCNN. "Physicians, other prescribers, manufacturers, the FDA and, of course, patients all need streamlined and coordinated processes to ensure that product safety information is delivered in a timely and up-to-date fashion."
The PDR-HCNN combination benefits patients by ensuring physicians are alerted about FDA notifications and announcements in real time.
"Given the national focus on health care, PDR Network comes at an ideal time and helps to realize many of the important goals of health internet technology, including improved efficiency, lowered costs and enhanced patient safety," said Edward Langston, MD, former chairman of the AMA Board of Trustees and a member of the iHealth Alliance board.
In addition to fulfilling regulatory requirements, PDR Network helps address physician liability concerns. "To support patient safety and limit professional liability, all physicians need immediate access to accurate drug information," said David Troxel, MD, medical director for The Doctors Company, the largest medical malpractice carrier in the U.S. "The Doctors Company has been a strong supporter of the HCNN and is very pleased to see it expand to PDR Network."
"PDR Network combines the strengths of the PDR and the HCNN to deliver a powerful suite of services to prescribers and manufacturers," said Edward Fotsch, MD, CEO of the PDR Network, and founder of the HCNN. "We will continue to collaborate closely with the FDA, our many medical society partners, and ePrescribing and Electronic Health Record companies to provide real-time delivery of FDA-approved labels, Alerts, REMS and other programs to physicians and other prescribers."
PDR Network provides direct access to nearly all U.S. physicians, physician assistants and other prescribers, and contracts with nearly every manufacturer of pharmaceutical products.
"In a time of growing regulatory requirements, this merger makes a lot of sense," said Craig Audet, vice president of Regulatory Affairs for Sanofi-Aventis. "For over sixty years, the PDR has been synonymous with credible, comprehensive drug information for prescribers. With the HCNN merger and continued oversight from the not-for-profit iHealth Alliance, the PDR expands its online reach, improves patient safety, and creates newfound value for manufacturers and prescribers."
Physicians and other prescribers may register to receive electronic Alerts online at www.PDRNetwork.net, through participating medical societies and other HCNN partners, or as part of receiving their PDR book this year. Free to all licensed U.S. physicians and their staff, the HCNN is used exclusively for FDA-required product safety Alerts -- not advertising or marketing -- and fulfills FDA guidance for electronic delivery of Alerts. PDR Network acquired the PDR from Thomson Reuters on September 1, 2009, with funding provided by Lee Equity Partners LLC.