Thomson Healthcare this week announced a new consumer Web site focused on health information. You can check out the new offering at http://www.pdrhealth.com/home/home.aspx . There’s a variety of information on this site, including drug information, interactions, and alternative therapies. (Yes, Thomson is the publisher of the Physicians’ Desk Reference.)
The page is divided into several tabs of information, including Drugs & Supplements, Diseases & Conditions, and Online Health Tools. (The online health tools include a drug interactivity checker and several profiling tools designed to give you treatment options for various illnesses. These look for the most part like they were developed in conjunction with other Web sites and brought under the PDRhealth aegis. All the ones I looked at required registration.)
The drugs page lets you browse by prescription drugs, over-the-counter remedies, and herbals and supplements. Fisherman’s Friend is in here, though it’s lumped with a bunch of other throat drops under “Menthol”. Even toothpaste is in here. Odd. Anyway, you can also do keyword searches for medicine as well as browse alphabetically. I searched for some pretty obscure things and PDR did not let me down. Information on the drugs includes a general overview, what to do in case of missed dosage, risks, and possible side effects.
You can also browse or search the diseases and conditions page, which covered health issues in a variety of categories. This one is not as exhaustive; I was very surprised to see that there was no listing for autism. I even searched for it and couldn’t find it. With all the attention on it, that seems a curious omission (and things like depression and insomnia and social phobia were listed). And no, I’m not comparing autism to depression or social phobia. But it is a life-changing condition, there is considerable evidence that it’s organic in nature, and it can be treated. So… why not?
There’s a lot of information here, organized well, and it doesn’t take too much digging to get to it. There is a certain amount of advertising and “send us your e-mail address and we’ll send you all kinds of stuff” but it’s not enough to be off-putting and hey, everybody’s got to make a living. Nice to have another credible health information tool.