Baidu, govt agency combat fake online medical info

China State Food and Drug Administration allows the Chinese search engine access to its database in an effort to fight counterfeit drugs online.

Chinese search engine Baidu and the China State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) have partnered to fight fake medical information online.

Baidu will display results from China State Food and Drug Administration in medicine-related searches.

A Sina Tech report Monday said SFDA opened up three major databases to Baidu, which will offer three new search functions for certified drugs, the wiki entry of a medicine's instruction manual, and certified Internet drug stores.

The three major databases SFDA allowed access to include the SFDA drug database which has information of about 180,000 local and important medicine, instruction manuals for 6,000 over-the-counter drugs and Chinese traditional medicine, and the database of Web sites certified to sell drugs online.

The report said users can search for information on drugs via Baidu using the medicine's brand or generic names, as well as approval number. The search results will include information from SFDA'S database.

In addition, when users search for online drug stores, Baidu will show a "certified" tag next to online stores which have been certified to sell drugs. SFDA's database of instruction manuals for medicine also will be included in Baidu's Wiki, the report added.

It noted that Baidu since 2010 had worked with various government organizations, including SDFA, to fight fake information online. The search giant said it busted 201 businesses promoting counterfeit drugs last year.

In 2011, Baidu and other Chinese search engines were slammed by a state television station which alleged the search engine promoted Web sites which offered counterfeit drugs