Which prescription drug data can you trust?

It seems like today access to information is no longer the problem it once was - you can find it everywhere. But how can you tell the junk from the jewels? What kinds of information will actually be most helpful to you? You can rely on user ratings to help you pick out a dishwasher  -- but you also need to know its size to make sure it fits in your kitchen. You need more than opinions - you need facts!

In medicine, your body is like your own unique kitchen. The newest, most popular dishwasher may be perfect in someone else’s kitchen but may not work in yours.  It is the same with our health.  We can’t reliably look to patient reviews, opinions, or even testimonials to answer our fundamental question: Can this drug help me?

To answer that question, we need to look at the facts -- in medicine these are the results of clinical studies. In these studies, scientists take painstaking measures to learn the real effect of the drug, and closely monitor the experiment to make sure there is no bias or outside influence. These important numbers help us get to the truth.  The clinical studies help us learn what drugs really can -- and can’t -- do for us.

The best kind of studies are called RCTs -- randomized clinical trials--because they provide the best possible data. We will discuss more on our blog about these RCTs, and how the DrugFactsBox™ will help you access this valuable information.  

Want to learn more on how to use the DrugFactsBox™? Read on or subscribe to be invited to our beta trial when we launch the DrugFactsBox™.

Karen Lubell

Karen Lubell is a writer living in the Hanover, NH area. She holds degrees from Dartmouth College as well as New York University, where she taught writing while pursuing doctoral work in English Literature. She has worked as a writer and researcher in many different fields, including a stint at the New York Times as the language researcher for William Safire. Her special interest in the health sciences began four years ago with a health scare, which led her to the work of Drs. Schwartz and Woloshin. She is very excited to be a part of the Informulary team, and help with their mission to make data about prescription accessible to all. She lives in Norwich, Vermont with her husband, two children, and one very old cat.