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FDA Launches New Easy-to-Use Drug Information Web Site

ROCKVILLE, MD -- March 4, 2004 -- As part of its continuing efforts to see that patients and consumers have the information they need to make informed choices, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today launched a new easy-to-use web site to help consumers and health professionals find information about FDA-approved drug products more quickly and efficiently. The new interface, Drugs @ FDA is a searchable database that includes information on approved prescription drugs, some over-the-counter drugs, and discontinued drugs. Located on the web page of FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), it is the first web resource to offer a comprehensive overview of a drug product's approval history.

"Better information for consumers and health care practitioners is one of this agency's top priorities," said FDA Commissioner Mark B. McClellan M.D., Ph.D. "Consumers, health care professionals, and product developers will now be able to locate the complete profile of a product with just a few easy clicks."

Drugs @ FDA makes all drug approval information available on one site so that users no longer have to visit several web pages for information on brand name and generic drugs. The database incorporates information from all parts of CDER's website, including Consumer Information Sheets, Medication Guides, labeling, and other information for patients. Eventually information on recalls, warnings, and drug shortages will also be included.

Users can easily search or browse this site by drug name or active ingredient to retrieve a complete approval history and accompanying documents for a particular drug product. Users can also find out if therapeutic equivalents exist including generics for brand name drugs. For example users can:

- Get the latest FDA information, including consumer-focused information like Medication Guides, for drugs they have been prescribed or that their doctor is considering.

- Identify therapeutically equivalent drugs for prescription medicines, and alternative OTC drugs with the same active ingredient, to help them identify the medicine that is best for them.

- Determine whether generic equivalents exist for their brand name drugs.

Source: The Food and Drug Administration

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