A system and method for ordering and prescribing drugs for a patient. This system includes an improved process for facilitating and automating the process of drug order entry. The user may interact with the system in a variety of ways such as keyboard, mouse, pen-base entry or voice entry. The system includes a database containing medical prescribing and drug information which is both general and patient-specific. The system also permits the user to view current and previously prescribed medications for any patient. The system can alert the user to potentially adverse situations as a result of the prescribed medication based on information in the database. The system also can automatically determine product selection based on descriptions and can automatically communicate the order to a pharmacy. Further, the system includes a means for automatically displaying messages to the user relating to predetermined situations. For example, such situations may include a medication which is not available in the formulary or the prescription of a non-recommended medication. The system streamlines the order entry process and makes information important to the drug ordering process easily available.