Health News Review

Jut a few gems from the February 3 edition:

  • “Oh great. Another phase 2 study of a pricey monoclonal antibody to address the “epidemic of osteoporosis,” i.e. a pharma-driven epidemic of overdiagnosis in older women. With a nice surrogate end point: bone mineral density, which bears an oblique relationship to fracture risk. And, in a market crowded with competing cheap agents, a placebo comparator.”
  • “The editor of the NEJM, Jeff Drazen, has sat on the fence for two years on the question of open data from interventional trials, but he now solicits your views on how long investigators should be allowed to hang on to their full datasets. Ah, but don’t send your views to him: you are advised to submit them instead to the Institute of Medicine feedback process, and await their considered verdict some time next year. Drazen obviously finds the fence quite a comfortable sitting place.”
  • On a study of implantable cardioverter defibrillators: ” it seems to me that these devices should be reserved for the tiny minority of patients who have a strong theoretical preference for being kept alive at any cost rather than running a risk of dying suddenly and painlessly.”

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