Health News Review
  • 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 [...]

  • Jun 9 2011

    Pharma Knows Best? Dueling agendas on industry-medicine relationships

    One week from today, Thursday, June 16, Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD, and her project based at Georgetown University begin a two-day conference, “Pharma Knows Best? Managing Medical Knowledge.” Topics include ghostwriting, pharma-free continuing medical education, disease awareness campaigns and, in general, academic scientists’ relationships with industry. Speakers include: Marcia Angell MD, Harvard Medical SchoolVirginia Barbour [...]

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  • Jun 8 2011

    Reuters: hidden conflicts common in journal articles

    Reuters Health published an important story, “Financial transparency skin-deep at medical journals.” Excerpts: “Nobody is making sure that authors declare their conflicts of interest. That has a very real potential to influence public health and corporate bottom lines, experts say, because researchers with industry ties are more likely to promote drugs and downplay side effects.…“At [...]

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  • May 31 2011

    Radioactive health care debate: MN moratorium on radiation treatment centers

    In the Saint Paul Pioneer Press, Christopher Snowbeck reports, “Health care debate that’s radioactive: where to build the region’s radiation treament centers.” Excerpts: “…radiation treatment centers… cost millions of dollars to build and have been the subject of fierce debates in Minnesota about where they should be located and who should be allowed to operate [...]

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  • May 26 2011

    The more medical students are exposed to pharma marketing, the more they like it and deny its influence

    The editors of PLoS Medicine conclude that a new Harvard analysis published in their journal: “…shows that (medical) students are frequently exposed to pharmaceutical marketing, even in the preclinical years, and that the extent of students’ contact with industry is generally associated with positive attitudes about marketing and skepticism towards any negative implications of interactions [...]

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  • May 25 2011

    Questions of bias in Medtronic-funded analysis of sterility in spine study

    John Fauber of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, in collaboration with MedPage Today, reports another in his series of reports on conflicts of interest in health care research. It begins: “Since 2002, the medical device company Medtronic and a group of doctors with financial ties to the company were aware that its new biological agent used [...]

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  • May 23 2011

    Chicago Tribune reports on clinical trial ethics/conflict of interest question

    The Chicago Tribune reports, “Patients at heart of medical device issue: Recipients of life-saving products may not know of potential conflicts of interest when doctors put their own inventions to use.” The Tribune reports that the case they report on: “… highlights the tangled web of interests patients face when they require medical devices …showing [...]

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