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The National Library of Medicine created Information Rx to help people better understand health information, to enhance conversations between healthcare providers and patients, and to encourage the use of evidence-based health information on the Internet.

Physicians, other healthcare professionals, and librarians can order free Information Rx “prescription” pads and other materials to refer people to MedlinePlus.gov and/or Genetics Home Reference. Both consumer-friendly Web sites are produced by the National Library of Medicine. The Web sites are free, do not contain advertising, are reviewed by experts, and are updated regularly.

The National Library of Medicine initiated Information Rx in 2002. The information prescription program directing people to MedlinePlus.gov was launched nationally in 2004. Four medical associations are partners in promoting MedlinePlus.gov: the American College of Physicians Foundation, the National Medical Association, the American Osteopathic Association, and the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

The information prescription program directing people to Genetics Home Reference was launched in 2006. The partnership includes the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute on Child Health and Human Development and four medical associations: The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the American College of Medical Genetics.


The National Library of Medicine launched the consumer health Web site MedlinePlus.gov in 1998. The site includes information on hundreds of health topics, drugs and supplements, links to the latest news, research studies, and clinical trials, tutorials, a medical encyclopedia, surgery videos, information to find local resources, and much more. The site is available in English and Spanish, and a multiple languages collection offers information in more than 40 languages.

Genetics Home Reference

Genetics Home Reference is the National Library of Medicine’s Web site for consumer information about genetic conditions and the genes or chromosomes related to those conditions. The site, launched in 2003, provides a starting point for learning about genetics and inherited conditions.