The Physicians' Desk Reference (PDR) is a commercially published compilation of manufacturers' prescribing information (package insert) on prescription drugs, updated annually. While designed to provide physicians with the full legally mandated information relevant to writing prescriptions (just as its name suggests), it is widely available in libraries and bookstores, widely used by other medical specialists, and sometimes valuable to the layman. The compilation is financially supported in part by pharmaceutical manufacturing corporations which create drugs listed within its pages.
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. In 1984, Paul C. Kranz and Michael Grondin travelled to Oradell, New Jersey, and presented to Medical Economics (then-publisher of the PDR) a prototype developed by Grondin on a TI 99/4A computer of how a digital copy of the PDR would work and benefit clinicians. The idea originally conceived by Kranz was well received by the president and vice-president of IT and an agreement was struck to investigate. The result was the PDR on CD-ROM. The main edition is usable by determined laypeople in conjunction with a medical dictionary.
Today, the PDR is available in many forms, including the annual publication, online (PDR.net), and integrated directly into electronic health record (EHR) systems.
The 2011 version is the 65th edition, and has information on over 1,116 of the most commonly prescribed drugs.
The PDR material contained includes:
There are several versions and related volumes: