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Center for Education & Research on Therapeutics
     
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Webliography

How we selected the websites

The websites on this list cover prescribed medicines for all conditions, are sponsored by organizations that are recognized authorities in pharmacy, and provide contact information for viewers. In addition, these websites scored high on features such as readability, availability in Spanish, ease of navigation and completeness of information. Due to the changing nature of the Internet, the website list provided here may not be up to date at the time you view it.
Potential websites were identified via Medline and Google searches and professional referrals. The identified sites were evaluated using a two-step process: a screening for essential elements and, if these requirements were met, a quality assessment.


Step 1. Screening for Essential Elements

To be selected for consideration in the webliography, medication information sites identified from our searches had to meet 15 screening criteria. These criteria are described below.
The top ten of fifteen highly rated sites are listed here. For additional sites, please

Website Screening Criteria
Inclusion criteria
  1. Available in English
  2. Free access; registration not required
  3. Organization responsible for content and accuracy of drug information is identified, or author is a government agency or academic organization
  4. Last date of update is posted
  5. Provides drug identification information (including both generic and trade names, therapeutic category, and ingredients), therapeutic indications, and possible undesirable effects
  6. Advertising is differentiated from drug information content
  7. Provides phone number, e-mail address, or other contact information
Exclusion criteria
  1. Pharmaceutical company website
  2. Website provides only drug-related news / pharmacy issues
  3. Website provides only general health information
  4. Website provides no drug specific information
  5. Journal website
  6. Website provides only information about herbs or vitamin supplements
  7. Website provides only information about a specific drug category or about drugs for a specific disease

Step 2. Website Quality Assessment

Websites that passed all screening criteria were rated by three evaluators on 16 quality criteria (see table below). Investigators weighted the criteria according to their relative importance. Weights were assigned on a scale of 1 (least important) to 3 (most important). Ratings for the quality criteria ranged from “1” (does not meet criterion at all) to “5” (fully meets criterion). Ratings were averaged, then multiplied by the corresponding weight of each criterion and summed to generate a total score for each website. Those websites with higher total scores were selected for inclusion in the webliography.

Website Quality Assessment
Criterion Assigned Weight

Drug Information Quality

Assurance of
Information Quality

 3

Attribution

1

Objectivity

2

Currency
1
Feedback
1

HONcode

2

URAC Accreditation

1

Drug Information Content and Design

Comprehensiveness

3

Layout

2

Readability

3

Languages

1

User Protection Policies

Disclosure

2

Disclaimer

2

Privacy protection

2

Website Design

Design & Navigation

3

Accessibility

2

*For further details,

 

 

Arizona Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics
The Critical Path Institute

Tucson, Arizona and Rockville, Maryland

Funded in part by Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality grant 1 U18 HS10385-01

Disclaimer and Waiver
The information presented is intended solely for the purpose of providing general information about health related matters. It is not intended for any other purpose, including, but not limited to, medical or pharmaceutical advice and/or treatment, nor is it intended to substitute for the users' relationships with their own health care/pharmaceutical providers. To that extent, by continued use of this program, the user affirms the understanding of the purpose and releases The Critical Path Institute, The University of Arizona, State of Arizona and Arizona Board of Regents from any claims arising out of his/her use of the website.

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