Accept It, Wikipedia Is a Public Health Issue. Now Let’s Fix It

downloadMedical articles on Wikipedia receive about 150 million page views per month. And nearly 50% of practicing physicians use Wikipedia as an information source for providing medical care. The problem is that many consumers believe that everything they read online is fact, especially from such a popular site as Wikipedia – never realizing that the information might be inaccurate and sometimes downright dangerous!

Drug manufacturers, the FDA, and Wikipedia itself have a public health responsibility to play a role in helping to fix the inaccuracies and incomplete information on Wikipedia. Sure, there are some challenges – like the perception that the drug manufacturers have a conflict of online casino interest or that getting anywhere near user-generated content will result in a visit from the FDA, but we should work toward common sense solutions. It’s time we all quit sticking our head in the sand and step up and make some real and meaningful changes soon. Beth’s recent blog post on Pharmaceutical Executive’s blog provides some specific suggestions to make real change.

Beth Bengtson
Beth, co-founder and principal of Hale Advisors, has more than 15 years of experience in healthcare, digital media, and interactive strategic communications, working on both agency and client sides for Fortune 500 and small clients alike. Her focus has been on helping clients evolve their organizations through a broad understanding of the impact of digital on their lives and thus business practices. Beyond her client work, Beth has taught college-level marketing and spoken at conferences and for clients on the topics of digital marketing and sustainability communications in the healthcare industry.

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