January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Health Sites Establish Ethical Code

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

A coalition of 20 Internet health sites and content providers, including online pharmacy PlanetRx.com, On Health, Healtheon/WebMD and Dr. Koop.com, has created a set of ethical principles for health Web sites. The coalition, known as Hi-Ethics, says the 14 principles will help reassure consumers that its members are adhering to standards for privacy, security, quality of information, fairness of transactions and professional conduct.

Each Hi-Ethics member company has agreed to implement the principles by Nov. 1. PlanetRx says it has already begun implementing these standards."Hi-Ethics is a set of principles with teeth," says Michael Beindorff, CEO of PlanetRx. "By signing on, PlanetRx.com is making a very real commitment to maintaining the highest levels of safety, security, reliability and quality of information for our customers,''

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