3 7/27/2015

Fred Hutch president predicts cancer cure in 10 years; critics have heard it all before

Every few years someone steps in it by claiming we are close to a cancer cure – as if all cancers are alike and we’ll soon have all the knowledge we need to cure the myriad forms of cancer. The latest public figure to make that claim is Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center president Dr. […]


Taking stock of new Alzheimer’s drug coverage: A “landmark breakthrough” that offers no “clinically apparent benefit”

The big story dominating this week’s health news has been the presentation of new results on studies of Alzheimer’s drugs at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Washington. Eli Lilly was there to show off data on solanezumab, a drug that previously failed to demonstrate benefits in two big studies but is now being retested […]


Watch-dogging health news across the pond

It’s not only U.S. news media outlets that sometimes misinterpret results from medical research or play fast and loose with health claims. Since more and more of us are getting news from non-US sources, it’s only fair that we point out the strengths and weaknesses of these overseas sources as well. Today, stories from The […]


Wrong forces drive osteoporosis treatment – despite evidence of lack of benefit

An important piece in The BMJ has received very little news media attention so far, so we thought it was important to point it out here. Two endocrinologists wrote an Analysis piece, “Web of industry, advocacy and academia in the management of osteoporosis.” In a nutshell, they write that: Continued enthusiasm for calcium and vitamin […]

9 7/21/2015

War metaphors in breast cancer – “brave” word angers some

The following is a guest blog post by Sally James, a Seattle-based freelance writer who is also one of our regular story and news release reviewers. She tweets as @jamesian. A recent campaign by the Centers for Disease Control is called Bring Your Brave and aims to get younger women between 18 and 44 to pay […]

4 7/20/2015

Where is all the toxic kale coming from? An investigation of the “Vegetable Detective”

Update: This post has been revised to reflect input from Ernie Hubbard, the researcher profiled in the Craftsmanship piece that’s discussed in the post. See the editor’s note at the end for details. In our diet-obsessed culture, we’re bombarded on a daily basis with messages about the dangers of food-based toxins — everything from gluten in […]


Five-Star Friday: statins, funeral home death, devices, overtreatment, scorecards

This is our continuing look at excellence in writing about health care. The Five-Star Friday feature won’t appear every Friday, but whenever we can, and whenever we’ve collected enough gems to shine a light on. . -0- Fresh today, we published a criteria-driven 5-star review of a New York Times story, “2 Studies Back Guidelines for […]

4 7/16/2015

Patient Innovation – not all progress comes from industry

The following is a guest blog post by Harold DeMonaco, who has been one of our most active reviewers and guest bloggers throughout our 9+ year history. As a reviewer for HealthNewsReview.org, I have had the opportunity to review countless media accountings of ongoing research and approvals of new medical devices. While many stories have […]


The BMJ’s head-to-head debate on homeopathy

Should doctors recommend homeopathy? That’s the question The BMJ posed to two experts who came out swinging on the volatile issue. Answering YES is Peter Fisher, Director of Research at the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine, who wrote, “Of all the major forms of complementary medicine, homeopathy is the most misunderstood.” Homeopathy is based on the […]

3 7/14/2015

Susannah Fox on the hunt to democratize access to patient data

The following is a guest blog post by Sally James. Susannah Fox was appointed the chief technical officer for the US Department of Health and Human Services in May.  Many patient advocates believe she could – as she puts it – “enable patients to access their electronic health data easily and contribute it for research” and […]


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