Drug data experts First DataBank Europe have signed a new partnership with the Irish Pharmaceutical Union to provide its members with enhanced clinical decision support.

The IPU currently provides members with a complete list of drugs which are authorised for prescribing in Ireland, through their extensive product file dispensing list software, but this does not currently include full information about potential drug safety issues.

Under the new deal, FDBE will provide enhanced functionality to the IPU’s existing product list.

This will include data and alerts on drug contraindications, interactions and sensitivities. The drug reference data from FDBE is designed to provide pharmacists with clinical decision support to help reduce errors and ensure patient safety.

Paul Fahey, IT and remuneration consultant from the IPU, told E-Health Insider: “This partnership will help us to provide reliable clinical decision support for all the drugs, on our lists, prescribed by our members, which will help to protect patients from unnecessary dangers.”

He added: “Many of our members already use the FDBE system, so the combined product list and support system will make diagnosing and prescribing for GPs and hospital doctors, particularly junior doctors, that little bit easier, allowing them to check for side effects etc. before prescribing”

FDBE already works with two other Irish systems suppliers; Dublin based pharmaceutical suppliers Systems Solutions, and GP suppliers, Health Ireland Partners Ltd and they hope to see this success continue through the new IPU partnership.

David Raethorne, technical director of Systems Solutions said of the new IPU deal: “It will enable us to help pharmacists make the right decisions about which medicines are best for each individual and ensure patient safety. The partnership between FDBE and the IPU is a real step forward for the Irish healthcare industry.”

David Howard, business development manager for FDBE told EHI: “Our clinical decision support has been very successful within NHS hospitals across the UK, and we want to see this extended to IPU members across Ireland, improving patient safety.

“We highly value our customers in Ireland, and our partnership with the IPU can only strengthen this, helping us to keep more patients safe from errors relating to prescribed pharmaceutical drugs.”

The link between FDBE’s clinical decision support and the IPU product file is expected to be completed and distributed to members by the end of the year.

The IPU currently provides its product list to over 1600 community and hospital pharmacies across Ireland. Its mission is to promote the professional and economic interests of its members and it is committed to delivering a quality, accessible, personal and professional service that puts the patient first.