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Facing internet fake-medicine and web para-pharmacy in the total absence of official recommendations from medical societies
Department of Medical Oncology, University Hospital of Ioannina, Greece; Evidence Based Department, PACMeR Athens, Greece; Society for Study of Clonal Heterogeneity of Neoplasia (EMEKEN), Ioannina, Greece.
Evidence Based Department, PACMeR Athens, Greece.
Hospital Universitari Dexeus, Barcelona, Spain.
Centre for Clinical Research Sormland, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6059-0194
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2019 (English)In: Journal of B.U.ON. : official journal of the Balkan Union of Oncology, ISSN 2241-6293, Vol. 24, no 4, p. 1314-1325Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

PURPOSE: Internet fake information, parapharmacy and counterfeit drugs are a market of hundreds of billion dollars. Misleading internet data decrease patients' compliance to medical care, promote use of questionable and detrimental practices, and jeopardize patient outcome. This is particularly harmful among cancer patients, especially when pain and nutritional aspects are considered. Provision of Web recommendations for the general audience (patients, relatives, general population) from official medical-providers might be useful to outweigh the detrimental internet information produced by non-medical providers.

METHODS: 370 oncology and anesthesiology related societies were analyzed. Our objective was to evaluate the magnitude of web-recommendation for cancer cachexia and cancer pain for the general audience provided by official medical organizations' web sites at global level.

RESULTS: Magnitude of web-recommendations at global level was surprisingly scant both for coverage and consistency. Seven official medical societies provided updated web-recommendation for cancer cachexia to their patients/family members, and 15 for cancer pain. Scantiness was unrelated by continent, developmental index, oncology tradition, economic-geographic area and society type scrutinized.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients need expert advice when exposed to fake internet information largely dominated by paramedical market profits. In this era of "new media" the patients' net-education represents a new major educational challenge for medical societies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BAKIS Productions LTD , 2019. Vol. 24, no 4, p. 1314-1325
Keywords [en]
cancer, cachexia, counterfeit drugs, internet, para-pharmacy, pain
National Category
Cancer and Oncology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-79787PubMedID: 31646774Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85071659811OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-79787DiVA, id: diva2:1391934
Available from: 2020-02-05 Created: 2020-02-05 Last updated: 2020-02-07Bibliographically approved

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