The Pharmacist Letter app is a great way to view monthly newsletters and online resources

By: Timothy Dy Aungst, PharmD

App Reviewed: Pharmacist Letter (Ver. 2.3)
Last Updated: July 24, 2012 iOS, October 11, 2010 Android OS
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android OS
Requires: iOS 3.2 or later, Android OS 1.5 and later
Reviewed on: iPad 2 & Nexus 7

Goals of app review:

  • Assess electronic version of the Pharmacist Letter through their mobile application
  • Determine stability and usability of the Pharmacist Letter app

What is the Pharmacist Letter?
The Pharmacist Letter is an independent pharmacy information subscription service created by the Therapeutic Research Center. Similar products include: Pharmacy Technician Letter, Canadian Pharmacist Letter, and Prescriber’s Letter.

The Pharmacist Letter provides pharmacists short and concise information on drug topics, pharmacy trends, and new medications through their monthly newsletters. In-depth information can be accessed through their Detailed-Documents available online.

Most Pharmacists are familiar with the monthly mailed newsletters, and the accompanying website with further information. However, the Pharmacist Letter also has a mobile application available through iOS and Android devices.

App Specifics:
Upon logging into the Pharmacist Letter app, the user is brought to a menu to select several general options. These include viewing the current or past letters, a search option, and general information on the app.

Viewing each issue is similar to reading an actual newsletter. The topics are broken down into individual articles. However, the benefit of the app is that the user can view more detailed information (e.g. medical studies included in a review) on an article if they desire by using the app, rather than going through a web browser.

This is perhaps one of the major benefits of the app, where newsletters are merged with their online resources. For instance, the August Pharmacist Letter newsletter has an article on opioid analgesics. The article is short and concise with available links to similar information. However, if the user desires, a more detailed document can be accessed on opioids.

While the app is not visually pleasing, this really does not detract from the functional purpose of the app or even the newsletter. No matter what, the app allows the user to find pertinent information that is required, in a summarized or in-depth format.

Additionally, past issues can be viewed, and other topics of interests can be searched. This can be accomplished by performing a general search via the ‘Search’ options, or by browsing general categories of information.


Lastly, there is a CE component accessible through the app.

Price:

  • App – Free (requires subscription to the Pharmacist Letter – $115.00 a year)


Likes:

  • Articles are quick and accessible for viewing
  • Option for summarized or in-depth reading material on topics of interests
  • App runs well on the iPad


Dislikes:

  • Visually the app is rather bland (was zoomed in on the Nexus 7 with no way to zoom out)
  • Would like option to perhaps save articles, or in-depth reviews, for further reading or reference
  • Jumping between topics takes  some navigation with the menu system that can be time consuming


Conclusion:

  • The Pharmacist Letter mobile app is a simple way to view monthly newsletters and access electronic resources on pharmacy topics.
  • Pros – The app is a quick reference for the Pharmacist Letter online resources
  • Cons-  The app is visually bland and navigating the app takes some time to get used to


Bottom Line:
If you like to use the Pharmacist Letter as a supplement to monthly information on drug information and pharmacy topics, then their app may be beneficial to have due to its integration with the online in-depth detailed documents for further information.

iTunes Link

Google Play Link

Disclaimer:
This post does not establish, nor is it intended to establish, a patient physician relationship with anyone. It does not substitute for professional advice, and does not substitute for an in-person evaluation with your health care provider. It does not provide the definitive statement on the subject addressed. Before using these apps please consult with your own physician or health care provider as to the apps validity and accuracy as this post is not intended to affirm the validity or accuracy of the apps in question. The app(s) mentioned in this post should not be used without discussing the app first with your health care provider.

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