Consumer Reports targets health

Consumer Reports Health promised me they'd rate my prescription drugs "with the same expertise and independence [they] use to rate cars, electronics and appliances." Who could resist an offer like that? I've been pretty happy with our GE fridge for about 10 years so I signed up. The initial email touted a $5 annual subscription, but by the time I got around to visiting the site it had gone up to $19. Still that's not too much for a site that "provides objective, evidence-based Ratings for medical treatments, drugs and natural medicines." I searched for the drugs my family takes but came away disappointed. CRH does not rate Rx drugs, rather they provide information like why a drug is prescribed, its side effects, and how to use it. While CRH posts that they do not rely on drug package inserts and manufacturer claims and instead use info provided by the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists, there is nothing here that I couldn't find on a public, non-fee site. I then went looking under Conditions & Treatments for specific topics. The current list of topics is small, much more so than what I've seen on sites like OrganizedWisdom, which is free.

Still I'll give them a chance now that I've forked over my 19 bucks. Their Healthy Living section seems more robust, which makes sense since they are at heart a consumer organization, not a clinical one. They have also announced plans to launch a hospital ratings service. According to the email, it will rate about 3,000 U.S. hospitals on the intensity of care for nine serious medical conditions.