Navigation Links
Online Information: Dangerous to Your Health?
Date:1/8/2008

New Report Details Disturbing Findings; Importance of Verifying Sources

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As millions of Americans resolve to be healthier in 2008 and turn to the internet for advice, a new report from the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, "Insta Americans: The Empowered (and Imperiled) Healthcare Consumer in the Age of Internet Medicine" finds that Google searches for health information may be leading to dangerous medical decisions.

"What we found was not only disturbing, but dangerous to public health," said Robert Goldberg, Vice President, Center for Medicine in the Public Interest. "For millions of Americans, Google has replaced the family physician. People trust, and make decisions, based on the information they find online," said Goldberg, "With few exceptions, the information we found appeared legitimate but had no medical authority whatsoever. In many cases, we found lawyers posing as medical experts."

The analysis of search results revealed that online real estate was dominated by Web sites paid for and sponsored by either class action law firms or legal marketing sites searching for plaintiff referrals. Other sites were sponsored by groups or individuals selling "alternatives."

-- Sixty-five percent of the first three pages of search results came from sites which were biased or contained unverified information.

-- Nearly half of the first three pages of search results belonged to lawyers and attorney referral services seeking plaintiffs for class action law suits.

-- No official regulatory pages or professional medical organizations appeared in the inventory of results.

"Patients who use Google to find important health information will be overwhelmed with negative information and will find little, if any, solid medical information to help them weigh the risks versus the benefits of using these medications," said Peter Pitts, CMPI President and former Associate Commissioner for External Affairs for the FDA.

"Much like our email boxes are filled by 'spam' urging us to collect millions from Nigeria or confirm our banking information from phony Ebay or Bank of America security sites, a lot of the medical 'information' on the Web is designed to sell, deceive or frighten, rather than inform," said Goldberg.

According to CMPI, the two most important questions online medical information seekers should ask themselves are: 1.) How do I know this information is accurate? 2.) Where did this information come from?

To determine what patients typically see when searching for information on prescription medications, CMPI took a snapshot of the first three pages of Google search results for a commonly-used cholesterol treatment and a type-2 diabetes drug. CMPI also looked at the real world consequences of what happens when decisions are based on incomplete, false or misleading information. Using SSRIs and vaccines as examples, CMPI found that basing decisions solely on online hysteria and fear could lead to a public health crisis or even death.

The report, including information on how to evaluate online medical advice, is available at http://www.cmpi.org.

The mission of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest (CMPI) is to discuss and demonstrate how exponential and accelerating technological progress will allow us to enrich and save more lives by predicting, preventing, diagnosing and treating disease, with greater speed, more precision, and less cost.


'/>"/>
SOURCE Center for Medicine in the Public Interest
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Online Resource Keeps Restaurant Diners on Track After New Years Hype Subsides
2. Eye Care Lacking in Many Who Buy Contact Lenses Online
3. InfoLogix Featured in FOX Business News Interview on Reducing Healthcare Medication Errors - Video Available Online
4. JCI online early table of contents: Jan. 2, 2008
5. Personal Fitness Training Goes Online for 2008
6. Cabin Fever Has an Online Cure This Year
7. Washington Capitals Player, White House Columnist Take Fundraising Online for Childrens National Medical Center
8. U of M researchers develop new online tool in fight against spread of HIV
9. be(R) is Making Health Simple With Complimentary, Expert Online Diet, Nutrition and Exercise Advice
10. Genomic Health Announces Oncotype DX(R) Provides Additional Prognostic Benefit in Patients Assessed With Adjuvant Online
11. Local Joliet Physician Group Selects AT&T for Managed Online Data Solutions
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... (SOP) alumni Hannah Randall, PharmD ‘17, and Jennifer Huggins, PharmD ’17, along ... updates for the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases during the 15th Annual ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Many families have long-term insurance that covers care for ... a waiver for care if the client has a cognitive impairment diagnosis. , ... care, is often waived, so the benefits from their insurance start immediately,” said Mechell ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... NJ (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global ... at scenic Alexandria Park in Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global ... physical activity. The fun run is geared towards children of all ages; it ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Coveros, a leader in agile ... a contract by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The Enterprise ... use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and high value manner across CMS ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... First Healthcare Compliance (FHC), an industry leader ... range of technology and learning solutions at the 68th Annual American Healthcare Association ... held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2017  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: ... third quarter of 2017 on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. ... day with the investment community and media to further ... call will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern time. Investors, ... webcast of the conference call through a link that ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... , Sept. 28, 2017 Cohen Veterans Bioscience ... the use of wearable and home sensors for real-time ... Early Signal Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on disruptive ... provide an affordable analytical system to record and integrate ... ...
(Date:9/23/2017)... 22, 2017 Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) announced ... from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for ... for the treatment of moderately to severely active rheumatoid ... data are needed to further evaluate the safety of ... RA. "We ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: