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EMBASE Classic Makes Inroads into Pharmaceutical Industry


Elsevier announced today that major global healthcare company, Bayer HealthCare AG, headquartered in Leverkusen, Germany, has signed an agreement to purchase EMBASE Classic. Available in electronic format for the first time, EMBASE Classic is a fully digitized bibliographic database drawn from 43 Excerpta Medica Abstract Journals published between 1947 and 1973. Covering approximately 3,400 international journals, EMBASE Classic indexes more than 1.8 million records from the biomedical and pharmacological literature.

For Bayer HealthCare and other healthcare and biopharmaceutical companies already licensing EMBASE (covering the literature published from 1974-present) or accessing the file via one of the online vendors, EMBASE Classic allows effective and efficient searching of a single file, from 1947 until today. An important benefit of the addition of EMBASE Classic to EMBASE is the documentation of toxicities and adverse effects that have been published about drugs or endogenous compounds at the time. These drugs may be revisited today or serve as controls because of their known adverse effects or specific effects in animals. In addition results of clinical trials published prior to 1974 can now be more easily factored into evidence-based medical assessments.

Edith Bomers, Project Manager, EMBASE Classic, commented that, “We are extremely pleased that the value of EMBASE Classic has already been recognized by Bayer HealthCare AG, one of the world’s leading healthcare companies. EMBASE Classic makes critical biomedical research from the 1950s and 1960s searchable and easily accessible, facilitating much more effective literature searches. In essence it allows revisiting the past to explore the future.”

EMBASE Classic contains historic index terms and has been enhanced with additional indexing controlled by the current version of EMTREE to allow for precision retrieval. EMTREE has furthermore been enhanced with historic index terms. For example, the pre-penicillin era drugs oxophenarsine (tradename mapharsen) to treat syphilis and thiazosulfone (tradename promizole) to treat leprosy and tuberculosis have become EMTREE terms.

EMBASE Classic may be acquired directly from Elsevier or from vendors Ovid, Dialog or DataStar. To celebrate the release of EMBASE Classic, an introductory sales offer is currently available.


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