Is WebMD a Front for Big Pharma?

I now recommend that anyone except advertising executives whose job entails monitoring product placement actually block WebMD. It’s not only a waste of time, but it’s also a disorder in and of itself — one that preys on the fear and vulnerability of its users to sell them half-truths and, eventually, pills.

But if careering around the Web doing symptom searches is your bag (and, come on, we’ve all been there), there’s still

If you’re looking for the name of a new pill to “ask your doctor about,” as the ads say, the Mayo Clinic Health Information site is not the place for you. If you’re shopping for a newly branded disorder that might account for your general feeling of unease, Mayo is not for you either. But if you want workaday, can-do health information in a nonprofit environment, plug your symptoms into Mayo’s Symptom Checker. What you’ll get is: No hysteria. No drug peddling. Good medicine. Good ideas. 

Full article on the misinformation found on WebMD.

Comments (6)

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  1. Nancy says:

    Fascinating. I didn’t realize any of this.

  2. Joe S. says:

    I don’t know if they are a fron for Phrma, but it sure sounds like they are.

  3. Devon Herrick says:

    My take on the article is that it’s yet another attack on any commercial entity involved in health care – even entities just distributing health care information. Web searches about health information are very popular. By most estimates, more than 100 million people per year search online for information about diseases and conditions. The Web is the quickest way to information without having to see your doctor (who it rushed for time as it is).

    The Mayo Web site is good but there are many resources online. Those that advocate banning drug advertising on the web, for instance, would deny the ability of content providers to get paid for their efforts – which would deny consumers access to a ready source of free information.

  4. Vicki says:

    This is disappointing to learn.

  5. Jeff says:

    There are a lot of organizations that are a front for Big Phrma. They’re everywhere. Even in the think tank community. Thankfully, the NCPA is not one of them.

  6. artk says:

    John, you’re upset that a web site has hidden funding sources, how self-righteous. Now, how about your funding sources?