Physicians and Consumers Benefit from New Health-Related Web Sites

Article excerpt

Health- and health-care-related sites are popping up on the Internet like daffodils in the spring. Physicians and other health practitioners can now gain easy Web access to vast medical-information resources. At other sites, consumers can learn about medical symptoms and conditions and can get answers to individual questions and concerns. Recent announcements of five informative new sites are summarized below. In addition, you may also want to check out the Medical World Search site (http://pride-sun. poly.edu) that Shirley Kennedy mentions in her Internet Waves column (p. 52).

Physicians, Desk Reference

Launches PDRnet.com

Medical Economics Company has introduced PDRnet.com (http://www.pdr net.com), a World Wide Web site dedicated to providing physicians with unlimited access to the Physicians' Desk Reference (PDR) database of FDA-approved prescribing information. In addition, registered users receive free use of the National Library of Medicine's MEDLINE, AIDSLINE, AIDSDRUGS, AIDSTRIALS, and DIRLINE databases of professional literature.

"We are excited to now offer PDR data via the Internet," said Cy Caine, product manager, Physicians, Desk Reference. "Our objective is to make PDR information accessible to physicians whenever, wherever, and in whatever form needed. With the introduction PDRnet.com, the Internet gives physicians another way -- in addition to print, CD-ROM, and hand-held electronics -- to access PDR information."

The PDRnet.com site offers complete profiles on all drugs in the current editions of Physicians, Desk Reference, PDR For Ophthalmology, and PDR For Nonprescription Drugs, as well as the very latest addenda to the PDR. A retrieval system enables users to find information on any drug by its brand or generic name, indications, therapeutic category, side effects, interactions, or manufacturer.

In addition to complete PDR prescribing information, the PDRnet.com site offers:

* MEDLINE: Enables registered users to quickly locate articles by subject, title, or author. In addition, users can order full-text copies of articles for a reduced rate through a special arrangement with the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), a leading provider of scientific information to academic and corporate researchers worldwide. The PDRrnet.com site also provides access to AIDSLINE, AIDSDRUGS, AIDSTRIALS, and DIRLINE databases.

* cmeWEB: Links users directly to American Health Consultants, popular Web site providing physicians with online AMA Category 1 continuing medical education (CME) credit in multiple specialties.

* Quicklinks: PDR's gateway to Web sites of substantive value to physicians. On the lighter side, physicians can also view "Funny Bones," a collection of cartoons -- updated several times per week -- from Medical Economics magazine.

PDRnet.com is available free of charge to all MDs and DOs who currently receive the print edition of PDR on a complimentary basis. Paid subscriptions will soon be made available to other health-care professionals and health-conscious consumers. Additional information is available to physicians at the Web site (http://www.pdrnet.com) or by sending an e-mail request to pdrnet @ medec.com.

Source: Medical Economics Company, Montvale, NJ, 201/358-7200.

RxList Drug Information Site

RxList (http://www.rxlist.com), a free Internet drug information site, has recently received positive recognition from numerous professional and consumer sources, according to a recent announcement from the company. Reuters' Health Watch called RxList "a thorough database that could be very helpful to patients, physicians, and pharmacists; the information on the drugs it covers is very complete, and the area includes precautions to help one properly use the information provided." Reader's Digest said that RxList is the "first stop for finding informative reports about almost any drug. …