Health News Review
  • Feb 24 2014

    Bohemian Polypharmacy – latest in clever YouTube video series

    I don’t know how James McCormack, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia, finds time to produce these videos, but I’m a big fan.  His latest is “Bohemian Polypharmacy” – a parody of Queen’s classic song “Bohemian Rhapsody” – a song all about polypharmacy – taking more medicines than are clinically indicated. [...]

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  • May 28 2013

    Journal editors decry the paradox of mental health: overtreatment and under-recognition

    The editors of the journal PLoS Medicine today published an editorial, “The Paradox of Mental Health: Over-Treatment and Under-Recognition.” Excerpts: “On the one hand is over-treatment and over-medicalization of mental health issues, often fueled by a pharmaceutical industry interested in the broadening of the boundaries of “illness” and in the creation of more and wider [...]

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  • May 28 2013

    Waste & Harm in the Treatment of Mild Hypertension: overtreatment, industry influence

    Dr. Iona Heath, a retired general practitioner and member of the UK’s Royal College of General Practitioners, writes in JAMA Internal Medicine‘s “Less Is More” column about “Waste and Harm in the Treatment of Mild Hypertension.” (subscription required for access to full text) This is a topic that receives very little attention. After all, who [...]

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  • Apr 30 2013

    The allure of “Michelle Obama Arms” – Lifting the hype bar on upper arm lift surgery

    Fact:  the US spends a far greater percentage of the Gross Domestic Product on health care than any other country on earth. Suggestion:  trends like the following, and news stories about these trends, may be a big reason why. Caution: You need to sit through a 15-second commercial before seeing the news video, which, itself [...]

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  • Apr 4 2013

    Drug marketing blamed for increase in ADHD diagnoses

    A Minneapolis-area psychiatrist, Charles Dean, published an opinion piece in the Star Tribune, “Rise in ADHD cases is due to marketing.“ It appeared adjacent to the Strib’s republishing of the NYT op-ed piece, “Diagnosis:  Human,” by Ted Gup – that we blogged about yesterday. Dr. Dean writes: “The 53 percent increase in the diagnosis of [...]

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  • Apr 3 2013

    Personal reflection on DSM V: “being human is itself fast becoming a condition”

    An op-ed worth reading in the New York Times – “Diagnosis:  Human.” Journalist-author Ted Gup, a fellow of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, tells the tragic story of his son, one of the “11 percent of school-age children (who) now receive a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — some [...]

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  • Mar 7 2013

    A journal editor calls for quarantine of “groundbreaking studies about new treatments”

    Dr. Elizabeth Loder, who is a US research editor for the BMJ, blogged “How medical journals can help stop disease-mongering.” in the blog, Loder reflected on her recent participation on a panel I moderated at the Selling Sickness conference in Washington, DC.  Joining Loder on the panel were Jocalyn Clark, PhD, of PLoS Medicine, and [...]

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  • Feb 14 2013

    Selling Sickness: People Before Profits – Washington DC conference, Feb. 20-22

    Is there momentum for exploration of disease-mongering? In 2006, an Inaugural Congress on Disease Mongering met in Australia. In October of 2010, I flew to Amsterdam to attend an international conference called “Selling Sickness.” Well, “Selling Sickness” comes to the U.S. February 20-22 – with a conference, “Selling Sickness 2013:  People Before Profits,” in Washington, [...]

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  • Feb 3 2013

    A few health care news gems from the past week that you may have missed

    The New Yorker profile of Dr. Oz, “The Operator: Is the most trusted doctor in America doing more harm than good?” The NPR piece, “Hanging A Price Tag On Radiology Tests Didn’t Change Doctors’ Habits.” PharmedOut.org’s new Drug Ads teaching tool.  It’s a three-part slideshow covering misleading advertising in  medical journals, indirect marketing, and disease-mongering; [...]

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  • Dec 3 2012

    Critic calls American Psychiatric Assoc. approval of DSM-V “a sad day for psychiatry”

    Dr. Allen Frances writes that the American Psychiatric Association approval of the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual this past weekend marks “a sad day for psychiatry.“  Frances, psychiatry professor emeritus at Duke, chaired the DSM-4 task force. He lists the top ten changes that he says should be ignored: “I would suggest [...]

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