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Canadians and Americans get different drug information online: CHSPR study
Canadians and Americans are getting vastly different search results when they look up prescription drug information online, says a study by lead author, Asst. Prof. Michael Law.
Residents of the United States searching on Google for both brand and generic drug names get directed to the government-run National Library of Medicine. However, Canadians performing the same searches end up getting Wikipedia for generic drug searches, and drug company sites for brand searches, according to the study, published online Tuesday in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy.
“The study also revealed that the most viewed drug pages on the Internet are those with the potential for addiction, like Oxycodone, and drugs for stigmatized conditions, such as antidepressants,” says Dr. Law, Assistant Professor in the School of Population and Public Health and the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research. “It’s important for the medical community to understand where patients are going for their drug information.”
Previous research has found significant problems with both the information on Wikipedia, and in the drug information produced and distributed by pharmaceutical companies.
“These are not likely the most reliable and unbiased sources,” says Dr. Law. “Patients should be sure to verify the information they find online before making treatment decisions.”
View video of Dr. Clyde Hertzman’s early child development presentation
Dr. Clyde Hertzman presented a free public talk, “Simple stats & sad stories: Early child survival and development in Canada,” on Feb. 10 at the Michael Smith Laboratories at UBC. The School of Population and Public Health presented this talk as a special grand rounds presentation. Dr. Hertzman received the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s 2010 Health Researcher of the Year award. He is a Professor at SPPH; Director of the Human Early Learning Partnership, College for Interdisciplinary Studies at UBC; and Canada Research Chair in Population Health and Human Development.
Description of Dr. Hertzman's talk:
Nearly 30% of BC children start school vulnerable, (that is, behind where we would like them to be) in their physical, social, emotional, or language/cognitive development. Vulnerability then goes on to adversely influence school success and life chances. At least 2/3 of this vulnerability is 'avoidable', in the sense that improved early childhood experiences would have prevented it. Over the last decade, monitoring has not shown any sustained progress in reducing vulnerability by the time children reach school age, despite the fact that early child development has been on the public agenda. A close look at Canadian data shows that, similarly, there has been no progress in reducing infant mortality since the mid-1990's, too. In other words, Canada is not making progress in EITHER child survival or development. This presentation will explore the reasons for these