1 12/22/2015

With coupon programs, drug industry hides ballooning costs of expensive new medicines

What are those clever drug companies up to? Plenty, I learned, recently browsing the website of Medical Marketing & Media, the trade pub that keeps healthcare marketers up-to-date on selling drugs, heart stents, and just about every other product the medical industrial complex dreams up. I spotted an e-book that answered my question. Called “Pathway […]

4 12/22/2015

Why does psychiatry so often get a free pass on standards of evidence?

The following guest post is by Rob Wipond, a freelance investigative journalist. He contacted us with concerns regarding our review of a highly rated Philadelphia Inquirer story. We subsequently had him develop these comments into a blog post/critique of our review. Although Wipond raises some legitimate issues, we think some of his criticisms represent a misunderstanding of […]

12/21/2015

Podcast: Jennifer Miller, PhD & the Good Pharma Scorecard

I heard Jennifer Miller, PhD, use four numbers to discuss growing distrust of the drug industry: 12…70…1…17. 12% of general public trust drug companies for being honest and ethical 70% think they put profits before people #1 is how the drug industry used to be ranked around the world – as the most admired industry… …as recently as […]

4 12/18/2015

Ovarian cancer screening: shop for the story emphasis of your choice

Let’s take a brief spin through the choices that news consumers (and patients) can make among a range of stories about a new study on ovarian cancer screening. Should the emphasis be: “Blood test for ovarian cancer saves lives,” as  CBS reported? “Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer May Become Possible,” as the New York Times headlined it. […]

12/18/2015

5-Star Friday: Smarter PSA testing, science’s Lake Wobegon effect, lifesaving coffee, and more

In what will be our last 5-Star Friday celebrating quality journalism in 2015, we take a look back at recently reviewed stories and news releases that have set a high standard for excellence and earned 5-star ratings from our reviewers. This HealthDay story, “Breast-feeding linked to reduced risk of preemie eye problem,” by Kathleen Doheny, is […]

2 12/17/2015

Some news from major breast cancer meeting needed more context

Dr. Deanna J. Attai is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles and is currently serving as President of the American Society of Breast Surgeons. She co-moderates the #bcsm Twitter group and tweets as @drattai. Every year the San Antonio Breast Cancer […]

9 12/16/2015

Opdivo ads vs. the reality of stage IV cancer treatment

Michael Wilkes, MD, PhD, is Professor of Medicine at the University of California, Davis and its Director of Global Health.  As poets and writers have known for millennia, the use of specific words can lead to imagery, meaning, feelings and emotions that transcend the narrow definition of the word. A study I did several years ago […]

1 12/15/2015

Birds, hares, and tortoises: What do they have to do with the recent news on cancer screening?

The following guest post is by Richard Hoffman, MD, Director of the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine/Iowa City VA Medical Center. Richard is a long-time story reviewer and frequent contributor to the blog. Wouldn’t it be great if, in 2016 and in the future, we saw more […]

12/14/2015

Podcast: Brian Nosek, Center for Open Science

On his website, Brian Nosek posts this quote: ‘All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike – and yet it is the most precious thing we have.” – Albert Einstein Improving science is precious to Nosek and the Center for Open Science at the University of Virginia that he leads. I interviewed him recently […]

14 12/10/2015

What the media got wrong about Jimmy Carter’s cancer “cure”

The following guest post is by Harold DeMonaco, a long-time contributor to the blog and one of our most prolific story reviewers.  If you watched or read the news this week, you probably heard a story about former President Jimmy Carter’s ongoing battle with metastatic melanoma. He was diagnosed this summer with lesions in his […]

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