Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Rate Your Drugs
Web site gives patients a chance to sound off.
A reader kindly pointed me to www.rateadrug.com, which claims as its mission the creation of “healthcare’s most comprehensive user-sourced database of short and long- term prescription drug side-effects, efficacy and overall benefits information.”
RateADrug, with a small but growing database, says that the site “picks up where clinical trials and FDA disclosures leave off. By taking a free five-minute survey, the users of over 5,000 prescription drugs can complete an unprecedented evaluation of their own experiences and reactions and then compare them with other users worldwide.”
“If Vioxx has taught us anything,” according to the site’s home page, "it’s that sometimes it takes a while for adverse effects to be identified.”
RateADrug claims to provide “an online, community-based rating system that allows users to share information about possible side effects and benefits they experience from prescription drugs, medical procedures and nutritional supplements. The site uses anecdotal reports from highly diversified user groups to add to data from clinical trials and FDA disclosures. Users can evaluate and share their experiences about a broad range of medical treatments, alternative therapies and prescription drugs by participating in RateADrug's ongoing surveys.”
The surveys are anonymous, the site declares, and become part of statistically aggregated scores for each prescription medication.
RateADrug does not accept advertising or infomercials from pharmaceutical companies. Doctors and other health care providers are invited to participate and submit comments.
According to Mark Deuitch, RateADrug.com founder and CEO:
"The one constant in health care is the need for greater creativity, discovery, and transparency in dealing with the effectiveness and potential negative side effects of prescription drugs and other medical treatments."