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"Non merci"

Prescrire does not display the HONcode

Prescrire chose not to request the renewal of its HONcode Certification in November 2010.

When the www.prescrire.org internet site first registered with HON in August 2008, this act, intended to certify conformity with a "Code of Conduct" for health information sites targeting the general public, appeared to be of such a nature as to stimulate improved quality. Prescrire decided at that time to request the HONcode Certification created by the Health on the Net Foundation.

The expected improvement did not materialise. It is plain for all to see that a wide variety of sites can be found under the HONcode label: sites which provide high-quality independent information, as well as sites whose sources of funding and ties to interests are opaque, or whose methods of sorting and producing information are not explicit.

The HONcode label has proven to be of no use in distinguishing quality health information sites. Notably, it offers no guarantees as to content; the site publisher’s commitment is limited to respecting certain principles of transparency and certain minimum criteria as to the information it gives. And these minimums are low, too low.

In view of these inadequacies, the Prescrire team, like other teams such as, in France, that of the site www.formindep.org, has decided no longer to be associated with this certification, as long as it does not deliver much more solid guarantees regarding internet sites.

©Prescrire November 2016

For more information about Prescrire’s criteria of independence:
> Non merci….

For more information on how Prescrire works:
> How we work