Former NEJM editors slam “backtrack” on conflict of interest

Yesterday, HealthNewsReview.org Associate Editor Kathlyn Stone summarized ongoing reaction to the New England Journal of Medicine’s long-winded series justifying closer ties between physicians and the pharmaceutical industry. She noted that the NEJM itself had pioneered today’s conflict of interest disclosure policies, and that throughout the 1990s, its editors would not publish editorials or review articles […]

1 6/2/2015

NEJM reignites conflict-of-interest debate with reader poll

The following is a guest blog post from Kathlyn Stone, who is an Associate Editor for HealthNewsReview.org. After reading the NEJM’s recent reader poll on conflict-of-interest rules, one gets the sense that the NEJM is still trying to frame the discussion. The poll appears as a follow-up to Lisa Rosenbaum’s widely panned 3-part series on physician-industry […]


Five-star Friday (& some that didn’t make the list)

To end this week, in which we had new reasons to question the ways in which health science studies are reported, it may be particularly fitting that we introduce a new “Five-star Friday” feature, to shine a light on recent news stories or news releases that received top 5-star scores from our reviewers. In May […]


Problems behind chocolate study “fooling millions” run much deeper than just a prank/spoof/sting

“Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me…..” Science journalist John Bohannon has done it again – providing another example of how easy it is to get slipshod studies published, and now, how easy it is to get naive news coverage of a slipshod study. “I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps […]


HealthNewsReview.org has posted its 2,000th news story review

I almost missed this milestone. But then I noticed the content-counter at upper right of our website.   I never imagined – 10 years ago when I first started building this site – that I’d still be doing it 10 years later. I’m very proud of the team we now have in place, poised for […]

3 5/27/2015

Patient anecdotes in NY-Presbyterian hospital ads mask mediocre quality ratings

The following guest blog post was submitted by Trudy Lieberman, veteran health care journalist, resident of New York City, and sometimes-TV-watcher. For the last several months Daniel Jacobs, a boxer by trade, has shown up on my TV screen extolling the virtues of New York-Presbyterian, one of New York’s biggest and best known hospitals. Jacobs earnestly […]

1 5/26/2015

Don’t tell cat lovers that Fluffy may increase their glaucoma risk

The following is a blog post by our contributor and cat lover Alan Cassels, who turned to a physician-journal editor-cat lover for expert analysis. A recent story in the Wall Street Journal stated that exposure to cats and cockroaches “may increase glaucoma risk” for people. This study, published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology also concluded […]

3 5/22/2015

Following the health news stream from publication to news release to media coverage

Harold J. DeMonaco is the Assistant Chief Medical Officer for Care Transitions at the Massachusetts General Hospital and a long-time contributor to HealthNewsReview.org. It is always interesting to see how the results of a well-designed and important study can get distorted as they flow through the media. The recent publication of Development and Validation of […]

4 5/21/2015

Responding to parts 2-3 of New England Journal of Medicine’s series on pharma-MD relations

Dr. Susan Molchan responds to the second and third pieces of a series by New England Journal of Medicine national correspondent Dr. Lisa Rosenbaum: Understanding Bias –The Case for Careful Study, and Beyond Moral Outrage –Weighing the Trade-Offs of COI Regulation. Last week, she was one of the first critics of part one of the […]


Does the public trust science? A university communicator’s reflections

One “peek behind the curtain” of how news releases can sometimes emanate from academic medical centers – or their researchers – was provided by our managing editor Kevin Lomangino’s piece this week, “NanoKnife fight at the University of Louisville: Why a disputed news release reflects important truths about health care news.” Another “peek behind the […]


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