Health News Review
  • 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 [...]

  • 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, but a project that is unfortunately on the shelf for now. ————————————————- Life might be looking up for 23andMe, the world’s largest dataset [...]

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  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Nov 27 2012

    Movember sprouts awareness messages that contain no health awareness

    Two weeks ago today we posted some concerns that have been raised about the Movember campaign. Update: A friend who lives in Manhattan sent me an email he’d received: Come join us as our chefs Jarett Broddie and Jair Solis face off with Jay Silva of Boston in a battle of food, brawn, and moustaches. [...]

  • Nov 21 2012

    As ACA unfolds, local health care turf wars erupt

    As the Affordable Care Act – the health reform bill – is shaped and defined, all sorts of “carve out your turf” battles are being waged on many levels not only in Washington, but in individual states. One caught our eye this morning:  A Denver Post story, “Suit sets up clash between day-surgery centers and [...]

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  • Nov 15 2012

    There’s no app for that: health apps that don’t work

    A report by The New England Center for Investigative Reporting – published by the Washington Post – is headlined, “Many health apps are based on flimsy science at best, and they often do not work.” It begins: “When the iTunes store began offering apps that used cellphone light to cure acne, federal investigators knew that [...]

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