TITLE: PharmInfoNet

ACCESS: http://www.pharminfo.com/

The Pharmaceutical Information Network, or PharmInfoNet, is a website specializing in new drug information. PharmInfoNet contains information of relevance to both health care professionals seeking technical information and the lay person wanting to know more than what their physician has time or willingness to tell them. The site is extremely well organized, easy to navigate, and attractively designed. The major areas of content are Drug Information, Publications, Disease Centers, Glossary, Medical Meeting Highlights, Discussion Groups, PharmMall, Pharmacy Corner, PharmLinks, and even a Gallery.

One of the most useful areas in PharmInfoNet is the DrugDB (drug database). While the number of drugs listed can't compare in number to what you would find in works such as the Physician's Desk Reference or the Merck Index, you will find much more recent information on drugs such as Viagra and Propecia (a new hair loss remedy). There are even entries for common medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen. A typical drug entry lists trade name, generic name, manufacturer, use, and links to full text online health and medical journals.

Two of the most frequently cited journals are the Medical Sciences Bulletin and PNN Pharmacotherapy Line. While the articles contained in these publications are written in a fairly technical style, they are still readable enough to be of use to those without a technical background. A complete list of publications can be found at http://www.pharminfo.com/pubs/pubs_mnu.html. All of PharmInfoNet's online publications are either produced by them or their affiliates. None of these journals are peer reviewed. However, their articles often do contain references to standard professional journals like the New England Journal of Medicine and Lancet.

PharmInoNet is produced by VirSci Corporation (www.virsci.com), a high tech company that applies 'virtual technologies to medical communications, medical and pharmaceutical marketing, and pharmaceutical sales training.' They are adamant, however, about not being affiliated with any specific pharmaceutical company. Nevertheless, the overall tone of this site is that of a vehicle for pharmaceutical companies to advertise their products.

Jim Rible
Southern Oregon University
November 1 1998

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