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Table 1 Website quality assessment (WQA) questions for assessing generic medicine website information

From: Generic medicines: an evaluation of the accuracy and accessibility of information available on the internet

Question Answer and score WQA score awarded
Does the site give an explanation as to what a generic medicine is? Yes = 1  
No = 0  
Is this explanation correct? (i.e. equivalent in dose, strength, route of administration, safety, efficacy, and intended use) Yes = 1  
No = 0  
If so, is the explanation of a generic medicine readable and understandable by a non-scientist? Yes = 1  
No = 0  
Are examples given of generic medicines? E.g. example of a proprietary medicine that also state their counterpart generic medicine? Yes = 1  
No = 0  
Is bioequivalence mentioned in the website? Yes = 1  
No = 0  
Is bioequivalence explained? Yes = 1  
No = 0  
N/A  
If so, is the explanation of bioequivalence correct? Yes = 1  
No = 0  
N/A  
If so, is the explanation of bioequivalence readable and understandable by a non-scientist? Yes = 1  
No = 0  
N/A  
Is the cheaper price of generics referred to? Yes = 1  
No = 0  
Is an accurate reason for the cheaper price of generics given? Yes = 1  
No = 0  
N/A  
Is any inaccurate information regarding the cheaper price of generics given? Yes = 0  
No = 1  
N/A  
Are examples given of the actual price difference between generics and proprietary medicines, or of the amount of money that can be saved by use of generics? Yes = 1  
No = 0  
Is reference made to the fact that approved, equivalent generic meds can have a different appearance (colour, shape etc.) different taste/smell or different inactive ingredients? Yes = 1  
No = 0  
Are narrow therapeutic index [18] drugs mentioned? Yes = 1  
No = 0  
Is the difference between NTI and non-NTI drugs explained? Yes = 1  
No = 0  
N/A  
Is there accurate information given on how generic bioequivalence, or generic manufacturing may affect NTI drugs? Yes = 1  
No = 0  
N/A  
Is any inaccurate information given regarding NTI drugs? Yes = 0  
No = 1  
N/A  
Are “pros” of generics mentioned? [e.g. lower price for same safety & bioequivalence etc.…] Yes = 1  
No = 0  
Are any “cons” of generics mentioned? [e.g. adverse events to dissimilar excipients etc.…] Yes = 1  
No = 0  
Is the difference between proprietary and non-proprietary names mentioned? Yes = 1  
No = 0  
Is the explanation given for the difference between proprietary and non-proprietary names accurate? Yes = 1  
No = 0  
N/A  
Generic prescribing mentioned and explained accurately? Yes = 1  
No = 0  
Total score  
Flesch reading ease score  
Flesch Kinkaid grade level