Health News Review
  • Feb 23 2015

    Stealth Research & “may they know the exact content of their stools”

    Thanks to Dr. Richard Lehman for my morning chuckle and for providing a link to a serious concern. Lehman, in his weekly journal review blog for The BMJ, writes: “I once sat through a presentation by a Dutch medical entrepreneur in which we were shown the continuous monitoring environment of the future, in which every [...]

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  • Feb 5 2015

    Lots of reporting & CDC criticism in BMJ piece on antiviral drug Tamiflu

    There are all sorts of evidentiary questions swirling around the use of the antiviral drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu).  And then there is the politics – if that’s what you can call the statements and actions of federal agencies about the drug. Jeanne Lenzer has a new feature in The BMJ, “Why aren’t the US Centers for [...]

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  • Feb 4 2015

    Why not discuss cost in news of new breast cancer drug approval?

    Reuters reports: U.S. FDA approves Pfizer’s high profile breast cancer drug. Language used: potential new standard of care one of the most promising medicines in Pfizer’s development pipeline could generate annual sales of $3 billion by 2020 Discussion of the drug’s cost: None MedPage Today reports: Palbociclib doubled progression-free survival in a pivotal study Language used: [...]

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  • Jan 28 2015

    Pharma payments to network TV physician-journalists – Columbia Journalism Review

    I’m late on this, but it’s noteworthy.  Paul Thacker, journalist and former investigator for the US Senate Finance Committee investigating medical research conflicts of interest, published a new piece in the Columbia Journalism Review last week.  It’s entitled: “Database may uncover conflicts of interest for TV doctors – Free lunches, paid speaking gigs & free [...]

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  • Dec 22 2014

    Monday health news roundup: mostly gems, one dud

    I realize that I wrote about the following things on my Monday morning email digest, but if you don’t subscribe to that email, you didn’t see what we wrote.  (One solution:  sign up to subscribe to the emails.  It’s free.) Some things we saw that we really liked: Richard Smith’s feature in The BMJ,  “Are [...]

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  • Sep 22 2014

    Pharmaceutical companies are like drug cartels – Gøtzsche on The Daily Show

    The Daily Show often captures health news topics with wit and humor – and with incisive insights. They did it again last week, with Michael Che’s piece, “The Pharmaceutical Drug Epidemic.” Great guest appearance by Danish researcher, Dr. Peter Gøtzsche of the Nordic Cochrane Center. (Note: Che is leaving the show after just 3 months. [...]

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  • Jul 22 2014

    What the public doesn’t see about pharma trying to buy influence

    The big European Society of Cardiology world congress will be held in Barcelona next month. Larry Husten of Cardiobrief.org shared an invitation he received from a PR company, which read, in part: “…for an internal event organized by Sanofi Regeneron (PCSK9) on August 30 in Barcelona, we are looking for a moderator for the whole [...]

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  • Jun 26 2014

    Questioning some of the ways in which new drug treatments are reported to the public

    While I’m working on a grant proposal to keep this project alive, my publishing efforts have fallen off a bit.  But it’s comforting to know that somebody else is doing some watchdog work – somebody like Paul Raeburn at the Knight Science Journalism Tracker. This week he wrote, “Cystic fibrosis breakthrough, or Wall Street coup?” [...]

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  • 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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  • Feb 6 2014

    Journalism via news release as Pfizer gets free publicity without releasing any data

    This week, Pfizer announced news from a trial of a drug for advanced breast cancer. The Pfizer news release stated “that the randomized Phase 2 trial [PALOMA-1] of palbociclib achieved its primary endpoint by demonstrating a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) for the combination of palbociclib and letrozole compared with [...]

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