Health News Review
  • Jun 27 2012

    The saga of the chocolate shoes and the MA drug company gift ban

    Sounds like a children’s bedtime story, doesn’t it? WBZ-TV in Boston reports, “Time To Reverse Pharmaceutical Gift Ban?” Excerpt: Supporters say a gift ban was needed to change a too-cozy relationship between drug companies and doctors. But critics say it’s costing the Massachusetts economy millions. … “It is costing our state tens of millions of [...]

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  • May 16 2012

    BMJ blog on Nestlé & diabetes foundation: comfortable bedfellows?

    Deborah Cohen, on a BMJ blog, writes: Nestlé has just announced a three year partnership with the International Diabetes Federation (IDF)—an umbrella organisation representing national diabetes societies from around the world— as part of its contribution to the fight against non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Such diseases include cardiovascular disease, cancer respiratory illness and diabetes. … The [...]

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  • Feb 1 2012

    Readers may be snared in heart journal’s tangled web of conflicts

    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. ———————————————————————————————- Blogger Marilyn Mann [...]

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  • Dec 22 2011

    Pharma Ghosts Haunt New Hormone Research

    The following is a guest post by William Heisel, one of our story reviewers, and publisher of his own excellent blog, Antidote: Investigating Untold Health Stories. ——————————————————————————————————————————————————– Italian researchers this week published a small study indicating that a type of hormone could help improve the sex lives of women going through menopause. Stories about [...]

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  • Nov 7 2011

    AP’s scanner story: blueprint for including conflict of interest in daily stories

    The following is a guest blog post by William Heisel, one of our story reviewers on ———————————————————————————————————–When writers mention conflict of interest in a story it typically is in one context: researchers taking money from Big Pharma. But conflicts abound in medical research, so much so that documenting all the conflicts can seem daunting, [...]

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  • Oct 27 2011

    Pharma-sponsored health journalism at Australia’s national newspaper

    The Australian is a Rupert Murdoch newspaper – Australia’s only national newspaper. It has been running articles and video clips about health policy in a series called “Health of the Nation”, sponsored by an Australian drug industry group. The series culminated in a glossy, 24-page magazine that included feature articles, and advertorials and advertisements for [...]

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  • Oct 24 2011

    Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel keeps adding to its “Side Effects” series

    Reporter John Fauber has published the latest in his “Side Effects” watchdog series, headlined “Doctors didn’t disclose spine product cancer risk in journal: Spine-product paper omitted key data.” Excerpts: “Doctors paid millions of dollars by Medtronic failed to identify a significant cancer risk with the company’s spine surgery product in a 2009 paper about results [...]

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  • Oct 12 2011

    Health care conflict of interest roundup – 3 newsworthy items

    Item #1: How prevalent are financial conflicts of interest among people writing clinical practice guidelines in Canada and the US? An analysis published in the BMJ of 14 such guidelines reports: Among the 288 panel members, 138 (48%) reported conflicts of interest at the time of the publication of the guideline and 150 (52%) either [...]

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  • Aug 3 2011

    Concerns over FDA loosening conflict of interest rules

    The FDA is apparently considering loosening the conflict-of-interest rules that apply to members of FDA advisory committee members. These rules have set limits on the financial arrangements that members can have with companies in the health care industry. The Project on Government Oversight wrote about the issue last week. If the perceived problem is that [...]

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  • Jun 28 2011

    “Harm has been done” – spine journal’s critical review of Medtronic Infuse studies

    The Spine Journal has published a special June issue focusing on Medtronic’s INFUSE product, or rhBMP-2, a bone growth product commonly used in spine fusion surgeries. A journal news release states: A critical review of 13 industry-sponsored studies on a spine surgery product found that the actual risk of adverse events was 10 to 50 [...]