Drug dosing apps such as Epocrates, Lexi-Comp and MicroMedex do not typically discuss evidence based medicine or the latest developments, but rather what is approved by the FDA and other regulatory authorities. Previously, we discussed the push for academic detailing, that later became RxFiles which is available as a website, pocketbook, large table book and mobile apps.

Alternatives to RxFiles based in the US include the Prescriber’s Letter and the Medical Letter. We recently reviewed the Prescriber’s Letter which has been my go-to app for evidence based information on drug therapy since residency. The Prescriber’s Letter includes both an extensive website of content and a companion app included together as part of the subscription. The Prescriber’s Letter consists of a monthly newsletter on developments in drug therapy, disease specific content, numerous charts and tables on therapeutics, CME offerings, and at different subscription/optional levels, live webinars, journal club, etc.

The Medical Letter is a similar medical app to the Prescriber’s Letter but in many ways serves a different and somewhat simpler purpose. The company was founded in 1958 by Author Kallet and Dr Harold Aaron. The former founded what today is known as Consumer Reports. The goal was to build something similar for providers. The Medical Letter is published twice monthly and accepts no grants, no donations, no advertising and is paid for entirely by subscribers. It doesn’t get much more unbiased than that. The Medical Letter states, “we are not anti-industry, we are pro-practitioner.”

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Evidence based medicine

The Medical Letter app contains the latest information on drug therapy with evidence based recommendations whenever possible. The medical app is well referenced and truly is unbiased.  The Medical Letter app offers CME that can be completed within the app or online. The companion website contains the same information as the app.

What providers would benefit from this App?

Students, nurses, PA, NP, Primary Care physicians, specialists and any provider who prescribes medications to patients.

Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.

  • Price
    • $129/year individual and $425/year for single user at institution. Contact The Medical Letter for multi provider institutional access pricing.
    • Unbiased, evidence based content that is frequently updated (twice monthly).
    • CME is included in subscription.
    • Subscription includes access to all website content.
    • Available for Android.
  • Dislikes
    • App requires an internet connection for use.
    • App does not contain any patient resources or other POC tools for providers.
    • Should be easier to find a particular Medical Letter issue.
    • Subscription fee may be too steep for some.
  • Overall

    The Medical Letter app is a fantastic source of unbiased information for providers regarding drug therapy. The medical app lives up to its heritage of being a Consumer Reports for healthcare providers. The Medical Letter is best for information and less useful for point of care use compared to the Prescriber’s Letter which contains a bit more regarding tables, charts, handouts that can be accessed in clinic or on the wards. Nonetheless, The Medical Letter is updated every two weeks and will provide users with many hours of valuable information and CME for a reasonable price.

  • Overall Score
  • User Interface

    Simple to use interface with abundant content available in the app and additional material available at The Medical Letter website.

  • Multimedia Usage

    The medical app is updatable with new information added every two weeks, but must have internet connection as issues are not stored/accessible offline.

  • Price

    Reasonably priced as the subscription packages give access to the mobile app and website.

  • Real World Applicability

    The Medical Letter truly does serve as a Consumer Reports for providers. It is easy to read, provides valuable information and includes CME. Providers should consider the Prescriber’s Letter as a worthy alternative since it provides similar information and includes even more resources built into the app and website than The Medical Letter and it is accessible offline.

  • Device Used For Review

    iPhone 6S running iOS 9.3.2

  • Available for DownloadAndroidiPhoneiPad