Formerly known as Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, MCPHS University founded in 1823, is the second-oldest, private school of pharmacy in the United States. The University consists of four campuses in Massachusetts and New Hampshire (Boston, Worcester, Manchester) and Online. It has strong roots in the area of natural products.
In 1923 Heber Youngken was brought into pharmacy school to chair the materia medica and botany departments. During his 40 years of service he built an herbarium, wrote multiple books on pharmaceutical botany and pharmacognosy, served as a botanical editor of the US Dispensatory’s 21st edition, contributed to the National Forumulary and US Pharmacopeia. In 1963 he was referred as the most outstanding authority in the United States on plant drugs by the American Journal of Pharmacy.
Center for Drug Information has been a part of the MCPHS University for the past four decades. The drug information division was established in 1978 as a consultation service for the healthcare professionals in the New England area.
The primary goals of the service included dissemination of unbiased drug information; promotion of rational use of drugs and drug-related products; education of healthcare providers and consumers about the value of pharmacist-led information services; and the provision of a patient-oriented practice environment for pharmacy students.
With increased awareness and patient use of natural products, a separate service was created in 1999 to respond to inquiries related to natural products and develop curriculum and research in this area.
In 2005 the two separate services have merged to become the Center for Drug Information and Natural Products with the goal to provide a more cohesive approach to information inquiries and dissemination, more comprehensive learning environment for students and increased faculty collaboration.
Since then, the Center’s faculty have been involved in developing and offering over a dozen undergraduate and graduate courses in natural products increasing the visibility of the pharmacy program in this area.
Typical drug and natural product related inquiries include assessment of adverse reactions, drug-drug and drug-natural product interactions, and the therapeutic use of conventional pharmaceuticals and natural products.
Inquiries are received and researched by sixth-year Doctor of Pharmacy students conducting a clinical rotation at the Center. All responses are verified by the Center’s faculty, and most inquires take between 24 hours (for short/simple questions) and several days (complex questions) to complete.
All requests are confidential. To remain within the Center’s scope of practice, only literature based information is provided since it is the practitioner’s responsibility to make specific patient recommendations.
The Center is open on weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST excluding University holidays. The Center’s telephone is 617 732-2759.