The recommendation made in the 1991 report on the future of drug evaluation in Australia,1 that patient information be provided with all medication, is being implemented. Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) has been developed for almost all drugs in Australia. It is based on the approved product information for each drug.

CMI involves all health professionals.2 Dentists giving or supplying drugs are required to make CMI available to patients who request it irrespective of the route of administration. In practice, most CMI will be provided by pharmacists. CMI should also be provided for medicines available from supermarkets or other non-pharmacy outlets.

A convention has been developed that dentists advise patients that CMI is available for the drugs they administer and can be provided on request. This includes CMI for local anaesthetics and other drugs given parenterally, for instance intramuscular antibiotics.

In an emergency, for instance treatment of collapse, there is unlikely to be an opportunity to offer or provide CMI before treatment. However, CMI can be made available afterwards.

A CMI supply can be obtained for manufacturers. It is also available in some electronic databases, such as E-MIMS, and to subscribers to the Australian Dental Association web site (www.ada.org.au).

References

  1. Baume PE. A question of balance: report on the future of drug evaluation in Australia. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service; 1991.
  2. Dowden JS, Clear PR, Fogg S, Appel S, Joseph P. Consumer product information affects us all. Aust Prescr 1996;19:30-4.