Oct. 27, 2006
Public Citizen Makes Drug Information Site – WorstPills.org – Free to 100 Developing Countries
Group Ensures Equal Access to Vital Information for Rich and Poor Nations
WASHINGTON, D.C.– Public Citizen today will begin offering people in 100 developing countries free access to its prescription drug information Web site www.WorstPills.org. Worst Pills is an unbiased analysis of information from a variety of sources, including well-regarded medical journals and unpublished data obtained from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This allows Public Citizen to sound the alarm about potentially dangerous drugs long before they are banned by the federal government.
Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and patients in developing countries will also have free online access to Public Citizen’s bestselling book, Worst Pills, Best Pills, which has sold more than two million copies. All data from the 2005 edition is available on the Web site.
Individuals in developing countries can sign up for free access to Worst Pills by visiting http://www.worstpills.org/http_IPCountryCheck.cfm.
The consumer advocacy organization is making www.WorstPills.org available free of charge to developing countries – most located in Africa, Southeast Asia and the former Soviet territories – because the data contained on the Web site is essential, objective information about hundreds of drugs and should be accessible for doctors and patients in the developing world regardless of ability to pay. The developing countries were selected from a list of countries defined by the World Health Organization as developing. A complete listing of countries that are eligible for free access to the drug information is available on the Worst Pills site.
“Worst Pills is a valuable resource for doctors and patients all over the world – not just those in privileged countries,” said Dr. Peter Lurie, deputy director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group. “With many medical journals moving toward open access for those in developing countries, it seemed appropriate for Worst Pills – the only drug newsletter for patients in the world – to do likewise.”
Through its www.WorstPills.org Web site, Public Citizen warned consumers about the dangers of Vioxx, ephedra, Baycol and Propulsid years before they were pulled from the market. In addition to a list of 211 “Do Not Use” drugs, like the above four, Worst Pills offers a searchable database of 538 drugs and top-selling dietary supplements, 110 families of drugs, 382 diseases or conditions and other general drug topics. Articles from the monthly Worst Pills newsletter are also available on the Web site, as are petitions to the FDA and other agencies, testimony by Public Citizen staff members before Congress and FDA advisory committees, and published medical journal articles by Public Citizen’s Health Research Group.
For those in the United States and other developed countries, access to the site costs $15 per year.