Health News Review

On Maggie Mahar’s Health Beat Blog, see Naomi Freundlich’s piece, “New Health Indicators Site is a ‘Treasure Trove’ of Valuable Data.”

On the Dose of Digital blog, see Jonathan Richman’s excellent analysis, “Lies, Damn Lies, and Pharma Social Media Statistics.”

The FDA has announced a webinar for next Thursday (April 28) on its “Bad Ads Program,” intended to nudge health care professions to report false or misleading prescription drug promotion. Webinar signup details appear online.

The FDA also this week posted a warning, “Hand Sanitizers Carry Unproven Claims to Prevent MRSA Infections.”

An article in the journal, Family Medicine, “Physicians’ Attitudes About Shared Decision Making for Prostate Cancer Screening.” (pdf file) The authors write that their data “provide evidence of the multiple challenges that physicians face when assisting their patients in the shared decision making (SDM) process for prostate cancer screening. This is demonstrated by their endorsement of SDM on the one hand and the support of annual PSA testing for men over 50 on the other hand.”

Journalist Laura Newman has launched a new blog, “Patient POV.” Excerpt from her first post:

“You don’t have to look very far to find patients who feel nobody is listening to them these days, even though there is a robust patient empowerment and support community. Yet a wealth of stories are not being told because they may not mesh with the agenda of advocacy or health reform groups. That’s where Patient POV, for point of view, comes in. I plan to solicit stories from patients who feel that they are not being heard. They may have simmering inside them perspectives on what’s lacking in health care that might hint at how it could be better. Many patients may have helpful suggestions about how healthcare could be reconfigured to make it more responsive to their needs and help other patients like them. Families and caregivers also have plenty to say.”

Bill Heisel posts an interesting Q&A with journalist Liz Scherer, “Fighting the medicalization of menopause one post at a time.”

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