About the eMC
What is the eMC?
The electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC) contains up to date, easily accessible information about medicines licensed for use in the UK. The eMC has more than 10,600 documents, all of which have been checked and approved by either the UK or European government agencies which license medicines. These agencies are the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
The eMC was launched in 1999 and has become an established website, trusted for reliable information about medicines. The eMC is free to use and you don't have to register any personal details.
The eMC is managed and owned by Datapharm Communications Limited, known as Datapharm. We work with pharmaceutical companies, the NHS, and other healthcare organisations to provide good information about medicines.
What does the eMC contain?
The eMC contains two types of documents.
- Summaries of Product Characteristics (known as SPCs or SmPCs)
- Patient Information Leaflets (known as PILs, Package Leaflets or PLs)
Summaries of Product Characteristics
An SPC tells healthcare professionals, such as doctors, pharmacists and nurses, how to prescribe and use a medicine correctly. An SPC is based on clinical trials that a pharmaceutical company has carried out, and gives information about dose, use and possible side effects. An SPC is always written in a standard format, which is explained in our glossary.
Patient Information Leaflets
A PIL is the leaflet that is included in the pack with a medicine. The PIL is a summary of the SPC and is written for patients. Our glossary section explains more.
Where does the information come from?
All the information on the eMC website comes directly from pharmaceutical companies. Approximately 200 pharmaceutical companies subscribe to the eMC and so pay Datapharm to publish their information on the eMC website. This is how the information is approved and added.
- The pharmaceutical company drafts a Summary of Product Characteristics (known as an SPC or SmPC) and Patient Information Leaflet (known as a PIL, Package Leaflet or PL), using all the up to date information about their medicine.
- The UK or European medicines licensing agency - the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) or the European Medicines Agency (EMA) - then checks and approves the information.
- The pharmaceutical company publishes the approved SPC and PIL on the eMC website.
How is the information updated?
When there is new information about a medicine, or when a new medicine is launched, the pharmaceutical company should update the eMC website within 10 days of the UK or European medicines authority approving the change.
The Latest medicine updates page of the eMC website shows you all the new or updated documents that have been published. This page also links to detailed information about the exact changes that have been made.
Who can use the eMC?
The eMC can be used by anyone who is looking for good quality, up to date information about medicines.
- Healthcare professionals, such as doctors, pharmacists or nurses, use the eMC to check the latest information about medicines, and to help them prescribe medicines safely.
- Patients or their carers, check information about their medicines.
- The general public can find information about medicines they are thinking of taking.
The eMC is an established website, trusted for reliable information about medicines.
Which pharmaceutical companies add information to the eMC?
Approximately 200 pharmaceutical companies add information about their medicines to the eMC. You can see a full list of the companies that contribute by choosing 'browse companies' and then selecting the option 'Show All'.
If you are a pharmaceutical company and would like to add your information to the eMC, please contact us.
I can't find the information I'm looking for
If you can't find the information you are looking for, please visit our help section.
The eMC website is managed and owned by Datapharm Communications Limited, known as Datapharm. We work with pharmaceutical companies, the NHS, and other healthcare organisations to provide good information about medicines.
Our aim is to improve public health and safety by providing up to date, accurate and comprehensive information about medicines to healthcare professionals, patients and the general public.
We are a not for profit company funded by approximately 200 UK pharmaceutical companies. These companies pay us to publish their Summaries of Product Characteristics (known as SPCs or SmPCs) and Patient Information Leaflets (known as PILs, Package Leaflets or PLs) on the eMC website. All the SPCs and PILs have been checked and approved by the UK or European medicines licensing authority - the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) or the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
We have a range of medicines information websites and services.
- electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC) An up to date and easily accessible source of information about medicines licensed in the UK.
- X-PIL We work with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to make Patient Information Leaflets (known as PILs, Package Leaflets or PLs) available for blind and partially sighted people. The X-PIL website has large print and screen reader-friendly PILs and the RNIB provide Braille and audio versions.
- eMC Medicine Guides Medicine Guides are written for patients, to give more information about medicines. Our Medicine Guides are linked to the treatments section of the Health Encyclopaedia on the NHS Choices website.
Datapharm was formed in 1977 and is an independent, not for profit company.
We are a company limited by guarantee, registered in England & Wales - registered number 1317421. Our registered office is Stocks House, 9 North Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, England KT22 7AX.