iPharmacy iPhone app brings a pharmaceutical library to your fingertips

Dec 12, 2010
Health

As far as weird, trivial facts go, “Did you know the iPharmacy iPhone app has 1,187 entries that begin with the letter C?” might be up there with the best of them. And yes, that fact is 100 percent true. The iPharmacy app is loaded with information on more than 10,000 commonly prescribed drugs. The […]

As far as weird, trivial facts go, “Did you know the iPharmacy iPhone app has 1,187 entries that begin with the letter C?” might be up there with the best of them. And yes, that fact is 100 percent true. The iPharmacy app is loaded with information on more than 10,000 commonly prescribed drugs.

The amount of information in iPharmacy is its greatest strength, and maybe its only downfall. There is just so much here that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Even scrolling through the list of drugs feels like an arduous task. Luckily, there is a search function that recognizes brand names and generic names, as well as a “Favorites” tab so you can quickly reach the info on your favorite drugs without having to weed through that huge list each time you open the app.

But even past that list, iPharmacy doesn’t take it easy on the drug information. Users can find pretty much anything they’d want to know about a medication. From what it’s used for, the dosage and administration, contraindications, warnings, how you get it and even, in some cases, a PDF insert that would come with the drug were you taking it.

My first thought upon using iPharmacy was that it felt geared more toward medical professionals. It is a fairly cold app. It’s entirely text-based, and the medical information is supplied without much of a filter, meaning that the app didn’t seem willing to guide users’ hands to find what they need.

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After using it for several days, I still think a layman could become overwhelmed with how things are presented in iPharmacy, but that’s at least simple enough to use that they could also easily find great benefit in it. The fact that it’s mostly text-based does make using it easier, even if style has been completely sacrificed in the name of substance. It’s easy to search for a drug, and generally find the information you need on the drug.

The Prescription Drug Card included in the app, a pre-activated electronic discount card sponsored by HonestDiscounts.com, is a great selling point for those without benefits that would lower their medication costs. I can’t speak to the use of the card, but that it’s offered gratis is something I don’t often see in an app.

I do think iPharmacy could benefit from some photos. They might help lessen the load that the text bears. Perhaps something along the lines of photos of the various medications listed.

Absent photos aside, iPharmacy is still quite an index of pharmaceutical drugs. It is impressive in every sense of the word, and worth a look to anyone interested in learning more about prescription medication.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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