Health News Review
  • Jul 30 2013

    If you have low back pain, chances are increasing that you won’t be treated based on best evidence

    That’s the strong suggestion of a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, “Worsening Trends in the Management and Treatment of Back Pain.” It concludes: “Despite numerous published national guidelines, management of routine back pain increasingly has relied on advanced diagnostic imaging, referrals to other physicians, and use of narcotics, with a concomitant decrease in (nonsteroidal [...]

    1 Comment
  • Jul 12 2013

    “Our medical schools must not become shills for big pharma”

    A commentary in the Globe and Mail today, “Our medical schools must not become shills for big pharma,” begins: “Most Canadians might be surprised to learn that medical students in Canada are routinely taught by faculty who have financial ties, and work in partnership, with drug companies. Conflict of interest (COI) policies at medical schools [...]

    No Comments
  • Feb 5 2013

    Should We Trust the NEJM Obesity Mythbusters?

    The following is a guest post by Kevin Lomangino, one of our story reviewers on He is an independent medical journalist and editor who is currently Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Nutrition Insight, a monthly evidence-based newsletter which reviews the scientific literature on nutrition for physicians and dietitians. He tweets as @Klomangino. —————————————————- Last week, the [...]

  • Jan 31 2013

    The list of potential conflicts of interest in authors of the NEJM obesity myths paper

    A paper in the New England Journal of Medicine, “Myths, Presumptions, and Facts about Obesity,” drew lots of news attention. The authors reported: We identified seven obesity-related myths concerning the effects of small sustained increases in energy intake or expenditure, establishment of realistic goals for weight loss, rapid weight loss, weight-loss readiness, physical-education classes, breast-feeding, [...]

  • Jan 14 2013

    Colonoscopy, conflicts of interest, and cautionary tales

    Dr. Michael Kirsch, who claims that “when I’m not writing, I’m performing colonoscopies, has published a blog post, “Is Colonoscopy the Best Colon Cancer Screening Test?” It’s an excellent piece, which I encourage you to read in its entirety.  It touches on medical conflicts of interest, comparative effectiveness research, the medical arms race, medical marketing [...]

    1 Comment
  • Jan 3 2013

    Catching up on Conflict of Interest news. Please make it stop.

    A little end-of-the-year clean up of desk clutter never hurts.  Well, yes it does when you see the accumulation of health care confilct of interest stories that have piled up recently.  I had started this cleanup at the end of 2012 but am just now getting around to publishing it. Doctors with links to drug [...]

    No Comments
  • Nov 30 2012

    Reconciling primary care and specialist perspectives on prostate screening

    I recommend that you read a thoughtful “Reflection” piece in the Annals of Family Medicine, “Reconciling Primary Care and Specialist Perspectives on Prostate Cancer Screening.” The authors quote Kipling: “Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.” And unfortunately that appears to be the case with many discussions about [...]

    No Comments
  • Nov 1 2012

    Reporting on the Medtronic mess – a recipe for home cooking in Twin Cities?

    One of the most thorough examinations of the Senate Finance Committee report on Medtronic’s research and marketing of its spinal surgery product, Infuse, was delivered by Roy Poses on his Health Care Renewal blog: “Marketers’ Systemic Influence over Ostensibly Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed Publications: the Medtronic Infuse BMP-2 Example.” His powerful concluding suggestion: “Going forward, we must [...]

    1 Comment
  • Oct 5 2012

    Potpourri: What is AHA smoking? Will flu shots keep you healthy? Why do some oppose comparative effectiveness research?

    Before we wrap up the week, here are some items published this week that we think readers of this blog will be interested in: Dr. Yoni Freedhoff writes, “I Want Some of What the American Heart Association is Smoking” – admonishing the AHA for partnering with Frito-Lay on a fundraiser. Public Citizen calls on the [...]

    No Comments
  • Sep 24 2012

    More on publication bias and conflict of interest

    Recently, I wrote about an article published by PLoS One that pointed out the potential for flawed reporting on the results of published clinical trials. Now, Harold DeMonaco, one of our story reviewers and a frequent guest blogger on our site, writes about an article and accompanying editorial in the September 20 edition of the [...]