This is part of a booklet called Finding and Using Information about Health and Medicines. The booklet comes in three parts. The first part gives advice on how to find information about health and medicines, and how to decide if the information tells you what you need to know. The second part contains general information about medicines. Finally, there is a list of websites and phone numbers where you can go to get information about health and medicines (the Directory).
You can search for websites on line using this Directory. You can also read or download a copy of the whole booklet here.
Whenever we find something that needs to be changed in the the list of websites we update this on-line Directory. So it is always up to date, but it might not always be the same as the downloadable booklet. We update the whole booklet every couple of years.
Organisations listed in the Directory are grouped under headings referring to the area of the body concerned (for example, "hearing and sight", "liver and kidneys", "muscles, bones and joints"). You can reach these through the alphabetical menu on the left of every page. If you cannot find what you are looking for, try the "advanced search" in our search engine at the top of each page.
This Directory will provide you with a good starting point but it is not intended to provide all the answers. It would be impossible to list every helpful website. Most of the websites listed will have links to other sites. If you speak to someone from a Helpline who cannot answer your questions, they may be able to tell you how to find someone who can.
We would like to hear your views about websites you find in our Directory. Please tell us what you think at our contact page.
Basic tips and help with searching the internet:
A gateway (sometimes called a portal) is a website that provides an easy route to other sites. You can find links to patient organisations and support groups at:
Good general information about health is available at:
Judging Website Quality
The guideline available from Judge Health (www.judgehealth.co.uk) will help you make your own way through the large quantity of information on the internet and to judge the quality of the sites you find.
By law, every licensed medicine must come with a Patient Information Leaflet (PIL). These are produced by the manufacturer and approved by the Government's medicines regulator. The electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC)contains PILs and other information about thousands of UK medicines. It is updated daily and available at www.emc.medicines.org.uk.
For blind or partially sighted people, there are PILs in different formats at www.xpil.medicines.org.uk, together with information about the RNIB Medicines Information Line. This is free to use and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0800 198 5000.
The Medicines Information Project at www.medguides.medicines.org.uk is working to provide people with information about medicines, conditions and the different treatment options available.
Details of companies that make prescription medicines can be found on the ABPI website www.abpi.org.uk. Details of companies that make medicines you can buy without prescription are on the PAGB website www.pagb.co.uk.
There are codes of practice for the pharmaceutical industry and you can find them on these websites.
Use search engines as part of your internet search if you cannot find what you are looking for from the gateways. Some examples of search engines covering health topics are:
Remember, to start using the Directory, go to the alphabetical menu on the left of this page.