Working Group

Medicines Information Systems (AIS)

Focal points of the Medicines Information Systems WG

A central component of modern medicine is drug therapy. In Germany, there are about 60,000 authorised and registered medicinal products with a total of about 12,000 active ingredients. About 21,000 authorised medicinal products are not available on prescription. Even if doctors only use a selection from the complete range of medicinal products in the context of drug therapy for their patient group, it is objectively impossible for all information on the patient and the medicinal product to be available without aids at the time of prescription. Likewise, it is not possible in the pharmacy to provide the patient with qualified individual advice without aids.

In order to improve the safety of drug therapy, it is important to provide the necessary information at the time of prescription in the practice or hospital or dispensing in the pharmacy through user-friendly digital support. This plays an important role especially against the background of self-medication.

In the medication process, more and more software programmes are being used that enable catalogue- and knowledge-based support directly during prescribing or dispensing. These medicines information systems are the central topic of the WG..

The goals of the Medicines Information Systems WG are:

  • Promoting the quality of information systems for medicinal products (these include, among others, medicinal product databases, practice and hospital information systems, but also systems supporting doctors and pharmacists in prescribing and AMTS testing, such as CPOE/CDSS).

  • Promote networking among users, analysts, manufacturers regarding experiences and problems with medicines information systems.

  • Development of guidance and proposed solutions for the improvement of drug information systems (e.g. standards, methodology)

The Medicines Information Systems WG will take up its work with a new membership at the GMDS meeting on 3 September 2018. A new WG head including deputies will also be elected at this event.

Since the term physician information systems with the abbreviation "AIS" has recently been used in the context of informing physicians about decisions on the early benefit assessment according to § 35 SGB-V, a change of name of the working group should also be considered.

Activities of the working group

Activity from 1st October 2020 to 31st December 2020

The activities of the AIS WG in the period from October to December 2020 were only possible to a limited extent due to the Corona pandemic. Nevertheless, the AIS WG continued to pursue its goals of promoting the quality of digital applications and information systems for medicinal products, discussing user problems and offering guidance and suggestions for solutions.

Standardised national medication plan (BMP) according to §31a SGBV

Since the implementation of the BMP in the eMP has stalled due to the legislator bringing forward the e-prescription, the activities of the AIS WG were also concentrated on the same. Nevertheless, work is to continue on recommendations for the structuring of data of the BMP or eMP, primarily for the dosage information. The latter are now also required by law on the prescription or medication plan and are an important element in improving drug safety.

The WG AIS follows the development of the e-prescription and tries to participate with implementation proposals. The WG AIS supports the demand of the GMDS to interpret the e-prescription as a building block of eMP and ePA and to strive for a corresponding integration of the e-prescription data. By structuring the data alone, the e-prescription promotes fundamental requirements for good prescription practice (e.g. complete, readable prescription). The e-prescription thus sets at least 30% of the requirements for good prescription practice (cf. the APS recommendation for action of the same name: "Aktionsbündnis für Patientensicherheit"). However, further measures are needed to increase the potential of the e-prescription in this respect and to exploit its potential more fully. The e-prescription digitalises the prescription, but still too little the prescription process.

Demands of the WG AIS with regard to the e-prescription:

  • The e-prescription specification should make greater use of established terminology
  • The e-prescription should be easily accessible to all pharmacists in any setting
  • The e-prescription should also cover pharmaceutical services to a greater extent (prescription processing).
  • The e-prescription should digitally integrate doctor-pharmacist communication  
  • The e-prescription should always be stored promptly in the ePA alongside the eMP


Digital technical information

The AIS WG had taken on the agenda of promoting the digitalisation of technical information, which is often a building block in medicines software and is used to inform both healthcare professionals and patients. There is a European cooperation project on this topic, from which recommendations for an implementation of e-product information (ePI) have emerged (Electronic product information for human medicines in the EU: key principles - A joint EMA-HMA-EC collaboration[1], as of 29.01.2020). This document presents various advantages of ePIs, but lacks further steps for implementation or a timetable.

Further topics:

  • Forums for user problems with drug/prescription software and FAQs
  • Information/position paper on the topic of pharmaceutical software and digitalisation of the medication process with presentation of advantages and disadvantages of available software systems
  • Draft quality criteria for drug databases or software
  • Specification of data sets for medicinal products of special interest

GMDS web conference: Political evening "E-prescription for patients" on 17th December 2020

Within the framework of the GMDS Political Evening, the WG AIS participated with a presentation on the topic "Benefits of the e-prescription for patients" (Dr. K. Boldt). The data scope of the e-prescription was presented and the function of the e-prescription in the medication process was explained.  It was worked out that many patient wishes for the e-prescription cannot yet be fulfilled. This concerns in particular the quick availability of information on medication, of which the e-prescription is only an excerpt. However, this could be realised in the future in combination with the eMedication Plan (eMP) and the ePatient Record (ePA) (see also under e-prescription).

Comments of the AG AIS on the European Strategy 2020 of 9th October 2020

In the context of the GMDS President's visit to the "FEAM European Biomedical Policy Forum", the WG AIS submitted a position paper on the European Strategy 2020.

Archive of activity reports

  • Activities in 2018

    Activities in 2018

    Activity from 1st January 2018 to 31st December 2018

    In the period from January 2018 to December 2018, the GMDS AIS WG was able to work towards a gradual harmonisation of the contents of drug databases with regard to improving the quality of information systems for medicinal products through its staff participation (Aly, Boldt) in the working group on the nationally uniform medication plan according to §31a SGB-V.  

    By networking users, analysts and manufacturers with regard to experiences and problems with Medicines Information Systems in the primary systems, initial proposals for solutions to improve them (e.g. standards, methodology) could be outlined.

    Future topics of the WG will be:

    • Machine-readable "electronic technical information" (position paper)
    • Further training opportunities for doctors and pharmacists in the field of digitalisation (position paper)
    • Creation of a forum for user problems with drug/prescription software
    • Description of minimum requirements for medicinal products/prescription software (AMTS test modules)