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9/6/2000
Press Release

Pharmacists Launch Safemedication.Com To Help Americans Use Their Medications Safely

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) is launching a new Web site, www.SafeMedication.com, to help ensure that Internet users have a reliable online resource for up-to-date, accurate drug information. Three out of four Internet users are searching online for information about their medications, according to a series of surveys conducted by ASHP.

At SafeMedication.com, visitors can access the Society’s MedMaster™ database, where they can find comprehensive, easy-to-read information on more than 700 medications. MedMaster™ is based on ASHP’s premier drug information resources, which are developed independently by pharmacists and other medication experts.

Information featured on the site includes why the medication is prescribed, how it should be used, potential side effects and warning signs of adverse drug reactions, special precautions and dietary instructions, information on what to do if a dose is missed, and storage directions. The site also provides breaking health and medication news and tips to help prevent medication errors and antibiotic resistance.

"Because today’s medicines are so complex and powerful, patients need reliable, easy-to-use resources more than ever. Who better to provide that information than pharmacists who work in hospitals and health systems?" said Society President Bruce E. Scott, M.S. "Having access to SafeMedication.com provides patients with much-needed peace of mind."

In conjunction with the launch of the Web site, ASHP conducted a series of surveys to determine how consumers receive health information, and whether they feel the information they receive with their prescription medications is sufficient.

An online survey of 1,000 Internet users revealed that three out of four (76 percent) use the Web to search for health information. Almost half (48 percent) said that they have searched online for specific information about their prescription medications.

The research also revealed that pharmacists are the most trusted health professionals after doctors, and that consumers are more likely to trust the content on Web sites of national non-profit health associations over commercial sites.

A phone survey of more than 1,000 Americans found that one-third (30 percent) do not believe that the supplemental materials that typically accompany prescription medication provide enough information about drug interactions. Less than half (47 percent) "strongly agree" that the material is helpful.

"With rising concerns about adverse drug effects, patients and consumers need trusted resources to turn to when they have questions about their medications," said Henri R. Manasse, Ph.D., Sc.D., ASHP executive vice president and chief executive officer. "Of course, we always recommend that patients speak directly with a pharmacist or physician about their prescriptions. But SafeMedication.com provides quick and concise information that can help answer basic questions."

ASHP is the 30,000-member national professional association that represents pharmacists who practice in hospitals, health maintenance organizations, long-term facilities, home care, and other components of health care systems. ASHP, which has a long history of medication-error prevention efforts, believes that the mission of pharmacists is to help people make the best use of their medications. Assisting pharmacists in fulfilling this mission is ASHP’s primary objective. The Society has extensive publishing and educational programs designed to help members improve their delivery of pharmaceutical care, and is the national accrediting organization for pharmacy residency and pharmacy technician training programs. The Society publishes AHFS Drug Information, a comprehensive resource widely recognized by physicians, pharmacists, dentists, nurses, and other health care professionals as the premier source of complete drug information