The new approach works with NetWellness.org, a commercial-free, consumer health Web site produced by Ohio's three medical research universities–UC, Case Western Reserve University and Ohio State University.
"Information about drug withdrawals may not reach patients quickly enough to prevent potentially dangerous side effects," explains Peter Embi, MD, lead author on the UC-based study published in the most recent online edition of the Journal of Medical Internet Research. "Given the public's growing use of the Web for health information, it's important that Web-based consumer health content is kept up to date, particularly that involving withdrawal of a potentially harmful medicine.
"However," says Embi, assistant professor of medicine and a researcher at UC's Institute for the Study of Health, "it's been shown that many sites don't update their content for days, or even weeks, following an FDA drug withdrawal.
"Our new approach," he says, "allows just one person to modify affected Web pages in less than an hour and within just hours of an FDA drug withdrawal announcement."
Embi says he hopes this new method will encourage those responsible for other Web sites carrying critical consumer health information to adopt a similar 24-hour response standard to drug withdrawals.
"There's evidence that patients continue to use medications for some time after their withdrawal, which occasionally causes harmful effects," Embi explains, "so it's important to inform the public as quickly as possible."
Before developing the new approach, Embi and his team evaluated NetWellness' previous update process following the FDA's withdrawal of the painkilling, anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx (rofecoxib) on Sept. 30, 2004.
Notified of the Vioxx withdrawal, NetWellness staff searched their site for the drug and related terms. References to Vioxx information were temporarily pulled and evaluated by medical experts. Content was either changed and reposted or permanently removed.
The researchers found that while this original process was ultimately effective, it took nearly three weeks and considerable human input to complete NetWellness content changes after the Vioxx withdrawal.
To improve on this, the research team developed their new approach and then tested it following FDA withdrawal of the anti-inflammatory drug Bextra (valdecoxib) on April 7, 2005. The results were significantly better than with the previous approach, they say. In just 18 hours after the drug recall, all instances of Bextra on NetWellness were updated and active, says Embi.
The new method, initiated by the FDA's automated MedWatch E-List alert and combined with modified technology and people processes, allows updates of all relevant NetWellness pages with minimal manual input and within 24 hours of a drug recall.
Now when the FDA announces a drug withdrawal, the NetWellness team receives an alert by MedWatch E-List and immediately checks the site's database for instances of the drug name, including trade and generic names. Instances are then hyperlinked using an automated find-and-replace function built into the site's content management system.
Simultaneously, pages containing these references receive a hyperlinked warning box indicating the availability of important information about the withdrawn drug.
All hyperlinks point directly to a new NetWellness "warning" page containing information about the FDA alert and to additional links to either the FDA or the drug manufacturer's Web site.
A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association reports that the majority of Web-based sources, including the popular consumer health site WebMD.com, took several days to update the Bextra drug information. A subscription-based health information Web site for health professionals, PDR.net, took 268 days to update Bextra content.
Embi plans to further automate this new update method and develop similar responses to other types of FDA health warnings relevant to consumers.
Study coauthors included Mark McCuistion, Charles Kishman, Doris Haag and Steven Marine, all from UC, and Prasad Acharya, from Wright State University.
Jill Hafner | EurekAlert!
Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution
09.12.2016 | Veterans Affairs Research Communications
Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine