Today, iGuard.org, a free and secure medication monitoring service, registered its one-millionth member just 14 months after its launch last year. iGuard.org’s rapid growth highlights the growing trend toward patients taking a more active role in managing their own healthcare.
PRINCETON, N.J. (Business Wire EON) December 30, 2008 -- Helping Patients and Physicians
"Despite enormous investment of time and money in healthcare information technology, patients don't feel confident that the healthcare system is watching out for them," said Hugo Stephenson, MD, iGuard.org's founder. "iGuard.org is a really simple service. With most Americans getting their prescriptions from many different doctors, iGuard.org enables patients to register their medications for monitoring and sends them customized email drug safety reports, safety alerts and recalls from a pharmacist as new and personally relevant information emerges."
Barbara Munroe of Phoenix, Ariz. is an iGuard.org member who has epilepsy and takes numerous medications. "After wasting away for a year with no energy, I registered all my medicines on iGuard.org," said Munroe. "To my surprise, I soon received an alert about an interaction between Paxil and another medication I'm taking, Zonegran. Since deleting Paxil from my medications my energy has soared. Without iGuard.org's information, I would still be on the couch -- or worse. It has saved my life."
The iGuard.org Service
iGuard.org maintains an up-to-date database of drug-drug and drug-disease interactions, including feeds from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and major drug manufacturers, to provide users with personalized drug safety reports, safety alerts and product recalls by email. Since iGuard.org pharmacists write and review all alerts for a consumer audience, patients receive understandable, actionable, timely information that they can discuss with their doctors.
Paul Seligman, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Director for Safety Policy and Communication at the FDA, said, "Communicating safety information in a timely fashion is important to all those whoweigh the benefits and risks aboutthe appropriate use of a medicine. Providing this information is a shared responsibility of many in the healthcare system. iGuard.org now provides such a source for this information."
iGuard.org is Different from Other Drug Information Services
Although patients today have access to an enormous set of tools for getting information about their health, iGuard.org is the only service that:
helps patients identify which drugs pose the greatest risk using a personalized, color-coded, drug safety rating system; detects potential interactions between drugs and diseases as well as interactions between drugs – recognizing that drug-disease interactions (e.g., Viagra and heart disease, birth control pills and smoking) are the highest cause of death and disability associated with medication use; communicates emerging product recalls (which outnumber alerts by four to one) as well as safety notifications and FDA advisories; avoids bombarding patients with irrelevant communications by ensuring that drug-specific messages are sent only to those users to whom they apply; ensures that communications are actionable and easy to understand by having a pharmacist review and update FDA / drug company alerts for the consumer audience; allows patients to have their doctor copied on their communications; is funded by medical research, not by advertising, which helps improve medicines. Helping the Scientific Community
iGuard.org connects patients with researchers interested in learning more about how drugs work. iGuard has already helped researchers to document real world rates of side effects for common medications such as statins and antidepressants, and to discover potential interactions between prescription and over-the-counter medications. "Connecting real patients in the real world with drug researchers allows us to learn about medicines much faster," Dr. Stephenson said.
iGuard.org, headquartered in Princeton, N.J., is a free and secure source of information for registered users who want to get informed, stay informed and share feedback about their medications. It has received critical support from patient advocacy groups concerned by the large number of patients affected by serious, preventable adverse drug interactions. It offers balanced and timely information to help patients manage their healthcare for themselves or loved ones.
Registration is free online at iGuard.org, or through its partners including the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (www.consumermedsafety.org), participating e-prescribing physicians (www.allscripts.com) and select pharmacies.
Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/drug_safety/safety_alerts/prweb1807844.htm
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