Rating drugs online

With the proliferation of sites where people discuss all aspects of their diseases and conditions, it was inevitable that patients would talk about and even rate their medications and therapies. In the recently released CyberCitizen Health™ v8.0, Manhattan Research reported finding almost 9,000 reviews of Zoloft and over 5,500 of Seroquel on DailyStrength. Other sites mentioned in the study were iGuard and PatientsLikeMe.I went to iGuard. If you manage or work on a pharma brand, you should take a look. The site features information, discussion and ratings for brand name and generic drugs. It was founded in 2007 by a former executive of Quintiles to "change the way that doctors, pharmacists, researchers and patients communicate about drug safety." As a test, I looked at Plavix. Besides the basic information you would find on most drug info sites, there was many iGuard-user generated statistics. According to the site, there are over 13,000 patients tracking Plavix who, on average, have provided a Plavix satisfaction score of 7.9 (out of 10) and effectiveness score of 7.7 (out of 10). Other data:

  • 28% of patients experience side-effects on Plavix
  • <1% of patients experience SIGNIFICANT side-effects on Plavix
  • 94% of patients are confident that the good things about Plavix outweigh the bad things
  • 16% wish they were told more about this product before they started it

This is followed by pages and pages of comments and questions. I was impressed by the sheer quantity of postings.

Another site I found is called Medications.com. They claim to have tens of thousands of reviews on nearly 15,000 drugs. Here, though, I was a bit suspect because they do not disclose who runs the site. I searched the "About Us" section and found no specific people associated with Medications.com. That strikes me as odd. Still it is a worth a look to see what people taking your meds are saying.