The not-for-profit iHealth Alliance—owned by Medem Inc, a for-profit company created by the American Medical Association and six other medical societies—is launching an online network to email pharmaceutical alerts to participating physicians, the Wall Street Journal reports. Until now, physicians would only receive notices about drug warnings and label changes from pharmaceutical companies via U.S. mail—a method many consider inefficient. Under the iHealth system, participating physicians will receive email alerts tailored by specialty. The notifications, slated to begin within the next two months, will be limited to alerts about medication label changes, warnings and recalls, and will not include any drug company marketing materials. While drug makers will pay to use the system, physicians can sign up for free and will gain access to the Health Care Notification Network, which archives drug alerts for one year and tracks physicians’ site access. After receiving an email notification, participating physicians can access the network to see additional information and resources including suggested language for explaining the changes to patients and a tool to send feedback about patients’ reactions to drugs to manufacturers or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to the Journal, the site also may be used to alert physicians in the event of a major public health crisis. Meanwhile, other drug label information is available through the National Library of Medicine’s DailyMed Web site, and the FDA’s MedWatch email alert system, which sends out notices on various health and safety issues. Physicians can sign up for iHealth Alliance at www.hcnn.net, and consumers can create a personal health record at Medem’s www.ihealthrecord.org to receive similar notifications about drugs that they are taking (Rubenstein, Wall Street Journal, 3/25/08 [subscription required]).