Annals of Pharmacotherapy on Wikipedia

I know I’m way behind on such things, but this article from the Annals of Pharmacotherapy deserves a mention, even one this belated:

Scope, completeness, and accuracy of drug information in Wikipedia.
Ann Pharmacother. 2008 Dec;42(12):1814-21. Epub 2008 Nov 18.
[PubMed] | [html] | [PDF]

The article compares drug information in Wikipedia to drug information in the Medscape drug reference.

“This study suggests that Wikipedia may be a useful point of engagement for consumers looking for drug information, but that it should be supplementary to, rather than the sole source of, drug information. This is due, in part, to our findings that Wikipedia has a more narrow scope, is less complete, and has more errors of omission versus the comparator database.”

And I loved this:

“…health professionals should not use user-edited sites as authoritative sources in their clinical practice, nor should they recommend them to patients without knowing the limitations and providing sufficient additional information and counsel. If these sites are recommended, it should be in the form of a permanent link pointing to the specific recommended version of an entry. Finally, the issues raised in Web 2.0 are not novel, nor are the approaches; consumer education, watchful editors, alert health professionals, and ethical online behavior remain, as ever, the foundation for the safety of Internet health information.”

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