Professional News
China Interested in Web Site
Psychiatric News
Volume 37 Number 2 page 6-6

After David Osser, M.D., and Robert Patterson, M.D., won an award for their psychopharmacology algorithm Web site (see article), Osser agreed to a Psychiatric News request to provide more details about China’s interest in the Web site.

First, Osser said, China’s Ministry of Health is sponsoring the development of psychopharmacology algorithms for use throughout China. The ministry has commissioned China’s leading mental health institution, the Institute of Mental Health at Peking Medical University, to lead the process of consulting with colleagues and developing the algorithms. A four-person international steering committee has been established to provide international consultants in this process. One of those persons is Osser.

Second, Osser said, China’s Ministry of Health would like to use the software from his and Patterson’s psychopharmacology algorithm Web site to house and disseminate those psychopharmacology algorithms that are developed for China. True, "the Internet is not as extensively available in China as in the United States," Osser pointed out, "but its use there is growing very rapidly."

What remains to be determined at this point, Osser conceded, is exactly how the ministry will use the software.

One possibility is that the ministry will take the algorithms on Osser and Patterson’s Web site, which have already been translated into Chinese by members and staff of the Chinese Psychiatric Association and use them as a template for its own algorithms. "They don’t want to use our algorithms because they don’t have some of the drugs we have," Osser explained, "and there are special issues where the Chinese experts might do things differently."

Another possibility is that the ministry will create its own algorithms from scratch.

"Either way, Patterson and I will be closely involved," Osser said.

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