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A Screenful of Sugar?

Prescription Drug Websites Investigated


Jon C. Schommer and Lewis H. Glinert

With drug information rapidly migrating to the Web, the chronically poor standards of drug information available to consumers in the developed and the developing world are being further compromised. This book offers insight into the uncharted waters of prescription drug information and promotion on the internet and suggests how it might be transformed into an unprecedented agent for good. It traces the social and political history of prescription drug information and marketing to Western consumers, offers a social and communicative profile of prescription drug Web sites, and evaluates the most widely used sources of prescription drug information, from government organizations and information companies and TV-related sites, to health service provider sites, manufacturers’ brand sites, and social media, including YouTube and Wikipedia. The focus throughout is on practical outcomes: How can information for consumer decision making be optimized and how can consumers use it responsibly?
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This series examines the powerful influences of human and mediated communication in delivering care and promoting health.

Books analyze the ways that strategic communication humanizes and increases access to quality care as well as examining the use of communication to encourage proactive health promotion. The books describe strategies for addressing major health issues, such as reducing health disparities, minimizing health risks, responding to health crises, encouraging early detection and care, facilitating informed health decisionmaking, promoting coordination within and across health teams, overcoming health literacy challenges, designing responsive health information technologies, and delivering sensitive end-of-life care.

All books in the series are grounded in broad evidence-based scholarship and are vivid, compelling, and accessible to broad audiences of scholars, students, professionals, and laypersons.

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