Health News Review
  • May 3 2013

    Knee replacement surgery isn’t like peeling an apple; things young prospective patients should know

    So I’m watching the evening network TV news the other night – I know, silly me – and I see this commercial pop up that visualizes artificial knee joint replacement surgery like peeling an apple. Now part of the ad pitch is that this is for “partial knee replacement.” You know what?  Partial or not, [...]

    2 Comments
  • May 2 2013

    Hooters, Surgery Tweeters, Media Manipulators – a marketing roundup

    Novartis and Hooters Is it a kickback to get doctors to prescribe certain drugs? Or is it truly an educational meeting for doctors – that happens to be held at places like Hooters across the country? Read the Wall Street Journal’s story from last week, “U.S. Accuses Novartis of Kickbacks.” It’s about a civil fraud [...]

    1 Comment
  • Jan 3 2013

    Cyberknife ads – one example of increasing excess of hospital marketing

    We’ve been following claims for Cyberknife “knife-less surgery” for a long time.  See search results from our blog. We’ve seen billboards promoting it in the metropolitan health care market we live in.   And big East Coast medical centers promoting it at subway stops. But only recently did we start noticing many TV commercials promoting [...]

    6 Comments
  • Dec 31 2012

    Troublesome ethical issues in TV news personality targeting high school sports for cancer fundraising

    The Star Tribune is going to take a lot of criticism for its story about a local TV news personality’s cancer foundation “targeting high school sporting events,” but I think this is important and legitimate cross-town journalism about journalism ethics. The story involves longtime Minneapolis TV personality Randy Shaver who has danced back and forth [...]

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  • Dec 26 2012

    3rd annual year-ender on health care PR crap we receive

    I’ve been too nice the past two years, calling my year-enders “PR puffery” or “PR stuff.” The stuff I’m writing about here is pure crap.  So we’re calling it that. This annual series is about the bombardment of news releases sent to journalists who are trying to decide what is vital information for readers, viewers [...]

    3 Comments
  • Dec 14 2012

    New word of the week: 23andMe aims to valorize your spit

    The following is a guest post by Alan Cassels, a drug policy researcher at the University of Victoria.  Alan was founder of Media Doctor Canada, a project very similar to our HealthNewsReview.org, but a project that is unfortunately on the shelf for now. ————————————————- Life might be looking up for 23andMe, the world’s largest dataset [...]

    1 Comment
  • Dec 5 2012

    Getting long in the tooth? Toothpaste “selected for people over 50″

    So I’m watching a network TV newscast the other night – the place where old people go to die in their sleep apparently based on the number of old peoples’ drug ads that appear therein – and I must not be there yet because I stayed awake long enough to see a commercial for a [...]

    2 Comments
  • Dec 4 2012

    4th post in 6 weeks about Star Tribune home cooking for local medical device industry

    I wonder if one of the following is being observed in the Star Tribune newsroom this month: Be Nice To Your Local Medical Device Industry Month Report On Surgical Approaches To High Blood Pressure Month Open Mike Month:  Tell Us Good Things About Your Company & We’ll Print It In a little more than a [...]

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  • Dec 3 2012

    CBS 60 Minutes shines with “Hospitals: The cost of admission”

    If you didn’t see it, you should. It begins: “If you want to know why health care costs so much in this country, consider this, it’s estimated that $210 billion a year — about 10 percent of all health expenditures — goes towards unnecessary tests and treatments and a big chunk of that comes right [...]

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  • Nov 29 2012

    New poster child for disease-mongering? Do you have a pre-cold?

    One of our readers tipped us off to what he called “a new poster child for overtreatment.”  We’ll call it disease-mongering. It’s the website of the drug company promoting Zicam. The new pitch promotes Zicam for “pre-colds.” What’s a Pre-Cold™?, the website asks, anticipating our astute question. Well, as you can see, it’s a term [...]

    3 Comments