Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Linguistics professor examines manufacturers' prescription drug websites

Date:
June 30, 2010
Source:
Dartmouth College
Summary:
Researchers have examined the corporate websites dedicated to the 100 best-selling prescription drugs. They found a startling lack of consistency in an industry where advertising standards are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Dartmouth Linguistics Professor Lewis Glinert and Jon Schommer, the associate head of the Department of Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems at the University of Minnesota, have examined the corporate websites dedicated to the 100 best-selling prescription drugs. They found a startling lack of consistency in an industry where advertising standards are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

"Communicating via a website is common practice today," says Glinert, "and consumers are very savvy about doing their own research on the Internet. The FDA has rules about direct-to-consumer print and television drug advertising, so we think it makes sense to also regulate websites and other marketing tools when it comes to prescription medicine. Consumers need consistent and balanced information."

Glinert presented their study, "Manufacturers' prescription drug web sites: A gray area of discourse and ethics," at the Communication, Medicine and Ethics (COMET) 2010 Conference at Boston University School of Public Health on June 28. Glinert and Schommer have previously published on the topic of direct-to-consumer drug advertising and Glinert has also presented their research at an FDA hearing.

In this paper, Glinert and Schommer found that the websites:

  • have no obvious linear narrative or 'next page' or conclusion; users move in a maze of text and navigation choices, some leading far away
  • lack a popular genre name (like infomercial), meaning that users come to them without a clear idea of how to perceive them
  • have an unpredictable mix of information and promotion, content, verbal style, visuals, and layout
  • often present safety and risk information in small font, in cumbersome un-bulleted blocks of text, detached from promotional text and videos, and below a page's scrolling 'fold'

Glinert notes that the Internet search engine Google has also been working to help consumers with their research on prescription drugs. A Google search of a prescription or generic drug name, for example Lipitor, will now display a summary and description at the top of the search results. The new feature, developed in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, links to NIH content and risk data.

"Our research provides justification for Google's move," says Glinert. "Only time will tell if this is a major change for the better."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Dartmouth College. The original article was written by Sue Knapp. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Dartmouth College. "Linguistics professor examines manufacturers' prescription drug websites." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100630132854.htm>.
Dartmouth College. (2010, June 30). Linguistics professor examines manufacturers' prescription drug websites. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100630132854.htm
Dartmouth College. "Linguistics professor examines manufacturers' prescription drug websites." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100630132854.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
More People Diagnosed With TB In 2013, But There's Good News

More People Diagnosed With TB In 2013, But There's Good News

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) The World Health Organizations says TB numbers rose in 2013, but it's partly due to better detection and more survivors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins