Online network PatientsLikeMe, which offers information and support for people living with a chronic condition, is expanding the amount of patient-generated information it offers through Walgreens.com to enhance understanding of certain prescription medications and their effects.
Walgreens started adding data from PatientsLikeMe last year, representing a first for both companies: PatientsLikeMe had previously never allowed its data to be displayed on another company’s website, and Walgreens hadn’t featured externally contributed data on its health dashboard before. Now, the retail pharmacy chain is the first to provide PatientsLikeMe reports about medications on its website.
PatientsLikeMe offers anyone with a chronic condition the opportunity to track and share symptom and treatment experiences, contribute data for research and connect with others (or their friends and family) who are going through similar situations. The website has over 400,000 members and has become more than a social network for patients – it also serves as a sort of real-time research platform that physicians, regulators, researchers, pharmaceutical companies and nonprofits can turn to as a resource and, ultimately, develop more effective products and treatments.
The new medication data will be updated daily from aggregated reports by PatientsLikeMe members, and will include information across a few key areas: patients’ reasoning for using specific drugs and their perceived efficacy; lists of the top five medication alternatives patients have tried for the same condition; and links to reports about dosage, duration, adherence and burden for more than 5,000 medications.
“Whether you’re just starting a new medication or you’re researching alternatives, knowing what others have already experienced is invaluable,” Michael Evers, PatientsLikeMe’s executive vice president of marketing, technology and operations said in a statement. “We’re excited that our members are helping more people know their options and what to expect, so that everyone can make more informed choices for their health.”