Iodine's doctors and pharmacists

Iodine's clinical team uses its expertise to make medication information accurate but easy to understand, like in tips, tradeoffs, and risks and warnings.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Our information on drug prices draws on NADAC, a dataset from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Based on a survey of more than 2,000 pharmacies across the U.S., NADAC reports the average wholesale price paid by pharmacies for more than 20,000 different drug products.

More about NADAC.

Insurance formularies

Every insurance company has a list, called a formulary, of which drugs it will—and won’t—pay for. We've gathered formularies from half a dozen companies, including Blue Cross California, Humana, and Aetna, to create a reasonable estimate of whether individuals might expect a drug to be paid for by their insurance company. It’s worth noting that since any insurance company can offer dozens of different plans, the only way to be certain whether your drug will be covered is to check directly with your insurer.

See an example of a formulary here.

FDA adverse events
Every year, the FDA receives hundreds of thousands of reports of “adverse events” (a.k.a. side effects) from drugs. This data can be a signal of what’s happening with drugs in the real world. We tap into this data using an API from openFDA that accesses adverse events reports to FDA since 2004 (approximately 3.8 million events). This data isn’t perfect: events reported may not be caused by the drug listed, and the openFDA API is subject to change. But it does offer the most comprehensive view on what's happening with drugs in the real world.

More about FDA adverse events.

FDA package insert

Every medication approved by the FDA comes with a product label: a thorough rundown on the risks, benefits, and side effects the drug may have. This label is written by the pharmaceutical company, and it's largely based on data from the clinical trials preceding the drug's approval. This information isn’t perfect doctors learn a lot about drugs and how to prescribe them and how they affect people after they’ve been approved. But the package insert still contains a wealth of useful data. We draw on this data throughout Iodine’s drug information, and we also provide the insert in full.

Drug labels from the FDA.

Real life experience

At Iodine, we believe that people’s real life experience can be a valuable and complementary dataset to help people navigate their health choices. Accordingly, we're working hard to gather individual experiences in various ways. We've leveraged Google Consumer Surveys to gather data on more than 100,000 Americans' experience with hundreds of medications, including prescription and over-the-counter products. This service allows us to reach millions of Americans through Internet surveys Google’s algorithms filter out spam, nonsense answers, and other biased data and infers demographic data—such as gender and age—about respondents. We also bolster this data with new data gathered directly from our users. For more information about our approach to user data, see our Terms of Service.

Data from other websites

Since the earliest days of the Internet, millions of people have shared their health experiences on hundreds of websites. We have extracted this type of data from many websites and use it to augment our own data where appropriate.