Since the late 20th century, a consumer edition has been offered at a much reduced price. Electronic editions are available on CD-ROM and the World Wide Web to subscribers. PDR is owned by the Thomson Corporation of Toronto.
The main edition is usable by determined consumers in conjunction with a medical dictionary. Many practicing physicians receive free copies of the PDR and are willing to give a patient a previous year's edition when they receive their new one but a recent edition generally differs from the current one by the absence of the drugs introduced during the course of the intervening year.
The PDR material contained includes:
The PDR has also been criticized for its being paid for by the various pharmaceutical manufacturers that present mediciations within its pages. This criticism stems from the lack of special interest disclosure and the potential for guiding medical recommendations apart from evidence-based medicine The lack of medical editorial capacity within the PDR which is standard in the review of all scientific literature by informed scientific peers has also been criticized.
While proponents may argue that the controversies with the PDR may seem insignificant, critics site that in fact, most physicians and pharmacists rely on it in a bound, online or PDA version for drug dosaging and the lack of transparency in its formation most certainly leads to adverse patient outcomes.
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