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Press release September 2014

When the Quality of Health Information Matters:

Health On the Net (HON) certification is the answer !

Health On the Net has certified health related websites for 18 years based upon eight principles intended to improve trust and quality of health information that proliferates on the world-wide web. More than 8,000 websites are currently HONcode certified and more than 7.4 million health related webpages worldwide display the HONcode seal. Since its inception, thanks to major governmental agencies and public support, the HONcode certification, including the annual re-assessment has been a dedicatedly free of charge service.

With the growing volume of health information in electronic exchanges, our governmental sponsors have encouraged us to become financially independent of them. Thus, we are now requesting your participation and support in our endeavours. We believe that as members of the "HONcode family" we can create a vast pool of trustworthy health information available to everyone without any restrictions.

In order to offer a quality service which includes the evaluation by experts, timeliness and quality customer service with improved availability, in addition to contributing to the sustainability of the HONcode certification programme, it has become necessary to establish a HONcode re-assessment fee, while the initial assessment remains free of charge.

Thus, we request, at the yearly re-certification of websites a contribution fee ranging from EUR 50 for non-profit websites to EUR 325 for large commercial websites. The successful re- certification updates the validity of the HONcode logo for another year.

A payment system has been integrated into the process. Two months before the expiration of the HONcode certification you will receive a notification for contributing to the HONcode certification program.

For additional information or comments, we welcome your feedback at please contact the Director of HON, Mrs Celia Boyer at:
Tel: +41 22 372 62 50

More information about the HONcode and HON

Providing health information for the benefit of others provides a source of education, support and hope for those in distress with health concerns. This is why the quality of that information is of paramount importance and all health information publishers/editors should commit to a certain number of rules.

HON is a non-profit, nongovernmental organization, in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, and in official relation with WHO that promotes the dissemination of useful and reliable online health information world-wide.

HONcode was established by HON to help standardize the transparency of medical and health information available on the Internet. HONcode certification is granted to health-related websites that adhere to the eight HONcode principles , which include confidentiality and privacy of data, attribution of sources, financial disclosure of website contributors, and a clearly displayed advertising policy. HONcode-certified websites are reviewed periodically to ensure their on-going compliance with HONcode ethical principles. The HONcode team evaluates health websites requesting the HONcode certification by conducting a detailed review of the website. Following this, the team issues a recommendation report detailing the required changes for HONcode conformity. Unlimited email exchanges and support are provided to guide the site until it fully respects the HONcode principles.


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