History And Transformation of PDR2018-11-29T21:04:46+00:00

A legendary resource
redesigned for the future

The Physicians’ Desk Reference:
History and transformation


J. Morgan Jones puts out the first edition of the Physicians’ Desk Reference to Pharmaceutical Specialities and Biologicals

The PDR starts including a photographic
section of selected drugs to enable
visual drug identification.
The amended FD&C Art requires
drug makers to prove to the FDA
that their products are safe and
effective prior to marketing, wich
increases the length of monographs.
The PDR introduces its first
bi-annual supplements.
Information on diagnostic
products included.
The PDR’s paper stock is produced in
Madawaska, ME, the northern-most
point is the continental US.
The shortest route to transport the paper
from Madawaska’s mill to PDR’s printing
plant in Chicago is through Canada.
The PDR goes GREEN! 40% of the paper is
made from recycled content. The virgin pulp
is harvested locally within 50 miles of
the papermill to reduce our carbon footprint.
The PDR On-Line service is introduced.
The PDR database in a flat file is first
offered to Merck, wich allows PDR data
to be used in an offsite setting.
Today, most major pharma companies
and instituitions use enterprise versions
of the PDR on their intranets.
The PDR Libary on CD-ROM is issued.
PDR Drug Interactions, Side Effects, and
Indications diskettes are distributed.
Pocket PDR, the first handheld device
containing drug information, is introduced.

Medecinteractive.com, later renamed
PDR.net, is launched. It allows physicians
to look up drugs and interactions, and
access resources such as Medline and
Stedman’s Medical Dictionary.

The PDR launches Gettingwell.com, the
first PDR consumer-oriented website.
This site will be renamed PDRhealth.com
and relaunched in 2002.
mobilePDR is launched for Personal
Digital Assistants (PDAs).
The PDR breaks a record! The 2004
edition is 3,500 pages long and is
distributed to 480,000 practicing
physicians in the US.
eDrug Update email newsletters
and 60-Day Updates in both emailed
and printed formats are published as
a free service to keep the book current
between editions.
The PDR introduces a dedicated
dietary supplement section.
The PDR launches within EHR e-prescribing systems.
The PDR eBook is issued. This is the first
fully digital edition. PDR introduces PDR+
for Patients consumer-friendly drug guides,
made available via EHRs and on PDR.net.
The PDR Pharmacy Discount Card program
is launched to help patients afford their
prescription medications. A mobile card
for smartphones will be added in 2015.

The PDR launches a completely re-envisioned
mobilePDR, the official drug information
and comparison app, at no cost for all US
healthcare professionals.
This is the first version of mobilePDR
that is designed and produced by the PDR’s
technology team.

The PDR’s landmark 70th Edition will require
19 tractor-trailer loads of 267 rolls of paper,
at an average roll weight of 3,500 pounds.
The amount of linear feet of paper required
to produce the 70th Edition is equivalent to
876 climbs to the top of Mount Everest!
The PDR’s renamed the Prescribers’ Digital Reference.


Groundbreaking from the moment of its founding

Ever since J. Morgan Jones first published the Physicians’ Desk Reference to Pharmaceutical Specialties and Biologicals in 1947, the PDR has been a vital resource for current, credible medication prescribing information. The first edition contained 380 pages and was circulated to roughly 100,000 practicing physicians in the United States on a complimentary basis.

In the years since, the PDR has hit several milestones:

1961: Photography was introduced for selected medications to enable better visual identification.

1988: The guide was first issued on CD-ROMs, and the print edition’s pages were now made from 40% recycled materials.

2004: The PDR reached 3,500 pages in length and was being distributed to more than 480,000 physicians.

Innovation that won’t quit

Now in its 73rd year, the PDR has grown from a stand-alone print book to a comprehensive online/offline suite. Recently renamed the Prescribers’ Digital Reference, it gives providers prescribing information when and where they need it most: on their phones with mobilePDR, online at PDR.net and in their EHR.