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Drugs.com Unveils the Next Generation Medication Safety Tool to Help Consumers Avoid Dangerous Drug Interactions
Date:11/24/2008

Award-winning MedNotes offers personalized medication profiles, drug interaction and warning alerts via Drugs.com and Google Health

NEW YORK, Nov. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Drugs.com, the leading online resource for information about prescription medication and related health issues, today announced the launch of a new online tool that will revolutionize the way consumers can monitor and manage their own medications, to ultimately help reduce dangerous side effects and avoid unwanted drug interactions. MedNotes, a free, online personal medication record system, allows consumers to create individual medication lists for themselves and family members and receive relevant and breaking news, alerts and warnings about their medications and health conditions. MedNotes can also be used to create printable personal health and medication records. Accessible directly at www.drugs.com/mednotes, MedNotes is linked into Google Health's online health records system as a personalized drug safety management tool.

Today, many Americans take several prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications and supplements. Often people are not aware of potentially serious drug interactions or side effects to these drugs. In fact, the incidence of serious drug reactions is increasing, according to a recent analysis of adverse drug events reported to the Food and Drug Administration. The analysis, conducted by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, showed that the FDA received reports of nearly 21,000 serious problems, including deaths, associated with medications in the first three months of 2008.

"Moms are often the chief health officer and advocate for their children, spouse and elderly parents, so it's critical for them to stay informed about their families' medications. But the reality is it's hard to keep up with new drug safety information coming out nearly every day," says Alison Rhodes, nationally recognized expert in child safety known as "The Safety Mom." "MedNotes provides an essential safety resource for anyone taking prescription medications. It's a simple, online tool that allows Moms to create individual medication lists for each family member, and register to receive safety or interaction alerts, new treatment and health news via e-mail."

Health and emergency care providers have also found value in MedNotes. The tool provides an electronic, immediate and free way to keep track of individual patient's medications or those frequently prescribed by a healthcare provider.

MedNotes Features (www.drugs.com/mednotes)

  • Add your medications to instantly assemble relevant medical information in a simple, easy to read personalized format.
  • Gain immediate access to in-depth consumer information, drug comparisons, historical news, FDA alerts, drug interactions, plus food, allergy and medical condition interactions.
  • Choose to be notified when new FDA alerts are issued and when any new drugs become available for any of your existing medical conditions.
  • Create personal, printable health and medication records, including physician and emergency contacts, allergies and existing medical conditions.
  • Use MedNotes to manage medications profiles for yourself and your family.

"We've received overwhelming feedback from early MedNotes users saying what a valuable aid MedNotes is to their everyday health management, and further, how it's been a potentially life-saving medication information source in emergency and acute care situations," said Philip Thornton, pharmacist and founder of Drugs.com. "We're very proud of the consumer and healthcare community's positive response to both Drugs.com and MedNotes and the important contribution these medication safety tools are making to people's health and lives."

In November 2008, MedNotes was honored with a prestigious 2008 e-Healthcare Leadership Award for Best Care/Disease Management Site. The award recognizes MedNotes as the best online medical management, news and information tool available to help consumers manage and monitor their clinical care. The e-Healthcare Leadership Awards were presented on November 11th at the Twelfth Annual Healthcare Internet Conference, where more than 1,100 health Web Sites were judged for the Awards.

New Services for Seniors, Healthcare Professionals

In addition to MedNotes, Drugs.com recently introduced two online medication information tools specifically for seniors and healthcare professionals.

For seniors enrolling in Medicare Part D, Drugs.com has launched the Medicare Part D Guide and Plan Selector Tool to help seniors make the most of this federal government program by choosing the most cost-effective program for their personal medication needs. Medicare Part D is a federal government program designed by Medicare to help eligible citizens pay for prescription drugs. The Drugs.com Plan D Guide and Comparison tool (Powered by MedicareSaver) allows seniors and caregivers to simply enter a ZIP code and list of medications to compare and select the most suitable and cost effective plan from a comprehensive range of providers. Plan details are displayed graphically to help users easily understand the monthly premiums, deductibles, co-pay fees and when the "donut hole" comes into effect. The Guide and Tool will be available on the Drugs.com Web site for the duration of the Medicare Part D enrollment period from November 15 - December 31 (www.drugs.com/medicare-part-d).

For healthcare professionals and consumers, Drugs.com has just released its mobile edition for use with almost all web enabled mobile devices including iPhone, Windows Mobile, Google Android, Blackberry, Palm OS and others supported by major carriers. The mobile Drugs.com site provides physicians, other healthcare professionals and consumers with a free drug information service for easy access to medication summaries, dosing information, warnings and built-in drug interactions for all medications commonly used in the U.S.

About Drugs.com

The Drugs.com Web site is published by the Drugsite Trust, a privately held trust operated by a dedicated team of pharmacists and medical writers. Drugs.com is the largest and most comprehensive drug information resource on the web with over 4.2 million unique visitors per month (ComScore, October 08). Providing free, independent, peer-reviewed, objective and up-to-date drug information at both consumer and professional levels, Drugs.com empowers patients and caregivers to take charge of their health and be more informed than ever before.

Fast Facts: Medication Use and Errors in U.S.

  • Almost two-thirds of Americans currently use medicines: 49 percent use prescription drugs, and 30 percent use nonprescription medications (American Heart Association)
  • 32 million Americans are taking three or more medications daily (American Heart Association)
  • 1.5 million Americans are injured by medication errors annually, reports the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies
  • The FDA received reports of nearly 21,000 serious problems, including deaths, associated with medications in the first three months of 2008, according to an analysis conducted by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices
  • Fatal medication errors occurring in the home increased dramatically by 360.5 percent from 1983 (1,132 deaths) to 2004 (12,426 deaths) according to a study published in Archives of Internal Medicine (July 2008)
  • The No.1 problem in treating illness today is patients' failure to take prescription medications correctly, regardless of patient age (American Heart Association)
    • 10 percent of all hospital admissions and 23 percent of all nursing home admissions are due to patients failing to take prescription medications correctly
    • At any given time, regardless of age group, up to 59 percent of those on five or more medications are taking them improperly.

    Contact:  Judy Welage
              Weber Shandwick
              212-445-8308
              jwelage@webershandwick.com


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SOURCE Drugs.com
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