Appendix 5: Drug Checking



- Will my title be drug checked?

- Who pays for the drug checking?

- When will my title be drug checked?

- What does a drug checker look for?

- What must authors do during the writing stages?

In order further to improve the quality of our titles and to comply with legal parameters, a decision has been made to employ drug checkers to check all relevant manuscripts for accurate drug-dosage information.

Note that OUP carrying out drug checking does not alter the responsibility of the author/contributor for the accuracy of drug dosage information.

Will my title be drug checked?

As a rule, all titles containing reference to a drug or dosage will need to be checked. Any titles containing drug references will be graded low, medium, or high depending on the number of drug names mentioned. If you are unsure which level your title falls into, contact your OUP Editor for guidance.

Who pays for the drug checking?

It is usual for the cost of drug checking to be covered by the publisher.

When will my title be drug checked?

Drug checking takes place during the final round of proofs. It normally takes one to two weeks initially, and then it is the drug checker’s responsibility to check the corrections once they come back from the typesetter.

What does a drug checker look for?

  • Drug checkers proofread every mention of a drug against the most recent edition of the BNF or the BNF for Children, as appropriate.
  • They check the indication, dose, and titration of each mention of a drug and confirm that every mention is correct.
  • If proprietary names are given, they change these for the appropriate rINN name, unless the content of the page makes clear why a proprietary drug has been mentioned.
  • On rare occasions, other therapeutic measures may be mentioned (for example, radiation doses). In these cases the drug checker will check against the appropriate NICE or Royal College guidelines.
  • They check that units are consistent throughout.

What must authors do during the writing stages?

  • Use generic drug names (also known as Recommended International Non-proprietary Names, or rINN) rather than proprietary names at all times. If convention, practice, or the historical context makes this unsuitable and a proprietary name should be given, then the appropriate trademark (TM) and registered trademark (R) symbols should be used. Where more than one company manufactures the same drug and proprietary names must be used, all proprietary versions of a given drug should be listed. This is to avoid the implication of endorsement of the product of a single company.
  • Make their OUP Editor aware of the presence of drug information in the manuscript, so that a drug checker can be commissioned.
  • Flag exact instances of drug information or dosages in the manuscript to help to ensure that no instances are missed.
  • Make sure that the units are used consistently (for example, 3 mg or 3 μg). This is not something that a copy-editor would flag.