How to Search for Information on the X-PIL Web site
There are 3 ways to find patient information leaflets (PILs) on the web site:
1. Quick Search
There is a Quick Search box in the top right hand corner of every page. Type the name of the medicine in this box. Then either click the Search button or press Return on your keyboard.
If you are not sure how to spell the name of the medicine, just type in the first few letters of the name. The search will show all the PILs that start with these letters. Click on a medicine name to view the PIL.
2. Browse an alphabetical list
You can browse for PILs using an A-Z list. The PILs are listed by brand name (trade name), and not their generic or chemical name. Click on the Browse Leaflets button near the top of the page. Then click on the letter that the medicine name starts with. This will show a list of all PILs available on the web site that start with that letter. Click on a medicine name to view the PIL.
3. Browse by pharmaceutical company name
You can browse for PILs using an A-Z list of pharmaceutical companies that have PILs on the web site. Click on the Browse Companies button near the top of the page. Then click on the letter that the pharmaceutical company name starts with. This will show a list of all company names which start with that letter and which have PILs available on the web site.
Click on the company name to see a list of PILs available on the web-site. Click on a medicine name to view the PIL.
About PILs, X-PILs and alternative formats
- What is a PIL?
- The service is called X-PIL. What does X-PIL mean?
- What new formats of PILs are now available?
- Does the X-PIL, alternative format PIL and PIL in the pack contain the same information?
- Are alternative format PILs available for all medicines?
- What information do I need to give the RNIB Medicine Leaflet Line?
- What if I have problems finding the product licence/code number?
- How do I know which products and manufacturers have alternative format PILs available on the X-PIL web site
- What if I need an alternative format PIL for a product not available on the X-PIL web site?
- How quickly will I get alternative format PILs from the RNIB Medicine Leaflet Line?
- What if I have technical problems with the RNIB Medicine Leaflet Line or the X-PIL web site?
- Who are Datapharm Communications Ltd?
- Who are the RNIB?
A PIL is the patient information leaflet. This is the leaflet that is included in the pack with your medicine.
An X-PIL is a patient information leaflet in XML (Extensible Mark-up Language) format. XML is an-industry standard computer file format that allows data to be shared between systems and displayed in different ways.
The patient information leaflet (PIL) supplied in the packs of medicines is now available in different formats.
The X-PIL web site provides PILs. These can be:
- viewed in large text
- viewed using a screen reader
- printed from the web site.
The RNIB Medicine Leaflet Line (Freephone 0800 198 5000), in most cases, should be able to send you PILs in alternative formats:
- In large/Clear print
- In Braille
- On audio CD
You may also be able listen to a PIL by calling the Leaflet Line.
About alternative format leaflets
Yes. The X-PIL (on the web site) and the alternative format PILs (from the RNIB) contain the same information as the PIL in your pack.
But if a PIL has an important image, the image will be replaced by text in X-PIL and the alternative format PILs. The layout of tables may also change so that the information can be made available in all the new formats.
No. Pharmaceutical companies only have to provide alternative format PILs for products launched after 30th October 2005. Pharmaceutical companies had until 2010 to provide alternative format PILs for products launched before 30th October 2005.
If you can't find a PIL for a product, try searching on the electronic Medicines Compendium (opens new window). You may have to contact the medicine´s manufacturer for an alternative format PIL.
Getting alternative format leaflets
You should give the name of the medicine and the product code number (also called the licence number). The product licence number will be printed on the medicine pack (or in some cases on the PIL itself). If the PIL is present on the X-PIL web site then the product licence number will also be displayed at the top of the PIL.
You should ask your pharmacist (chemist) to find this number for you, or ask a sighted person to help.
An A-Z search function by product and manufacturer is available on the site.
You should call the RNIB Medicine Leaflet Line on 0800 198 5000. The RNIB will then contact Datapharm and/or the pharmaceutical company. A 'fast-track' priority process is in place, so the RNIB will try to get the alternative format PIL for you quickly.
You should receive the alternative format PIL from the RNIB within 2-3 working days. However, it will take longer if PILs haven't been supplied by the pharmaceutical company or if they aren't already included on the X-PIL web site.
At each stage of the automated script on the Medicine Leaflet Line there is the option to speak to a person.
On the X-PIL web site there is a 'Contact us' option, which includes a telephone number and email address.
About Datapharm and the RNIB
Datapharm Communications is a not for profit company whose aim is to improve public health by providing better health information. Datapharm Communications has already developed the electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC) (www.medicines.org.uk/emc)(new window). Working with the RNIB to deliver patient information in alternative formats is a logical progression of the eMC. Datapharm Communications is funded from the sales of services and products related to medicines information including subscriptions from the pharmaceutical industry.
Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is the UK's leading charity offering information, support and advice to over two million people with sight problems. For more information about the RNIB please visit www.rnib.org (new window)