Many South Korean news articles on COVID-19 treatment studies, such as dexamethasone clinical trials, only report a medicine’s effectiveness as claimed by there search organizations without mentioning the clinical study protocols, the drug’s mechanism of action, and its potential side effects. Such articles can give the reader an overly optimistic impression of the drug which may lead to fatal self-medication accidents. In response, we conducted an online survey to investigate lay readers’ informational needs, that is, what they need to know to assess the validity of there ported study’s findings and to prevent self-medication accidents. Based on the survey findings, we developed the mTag (medication Tag), a form of visual research abstract attached to incomplete clinical trial news to provide a more accurate picture of the study’s design, the benefits and harms of the drug based on its mechanism of action, along with strong alert messages against self-medication. Testing the mTag attached to a mock clinical trial news story confirmed its e!ectiveness in increasing the accuracy of the study participants’ knowledge and the perceived riskof self-medicating the reported drug when underlying adverse or side effects exist.