Health News Review
  • 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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  • May 21 2013

    Warnings about drug company-funded mental health websites

    A paper by New Zealand researchers published in the journal, Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica (subscription required for full text access*), summarizes a literature review and meta-analysis of drug company–funded mental health websites. The analysis compared mental websites funded by drug companies with those not funded by pharma.  It concludes: Practitioners are encouraged to inform patients about [...]

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  • May 3 2013

    States go after pharma for deceptive marketing

    Since we’ve been on a medical marketing kick this week, let’s catch up to what The Wall Street Journal reported last week: “Authorities in some U.S. states have become more aggressive in accusing drug makers of deceptive marketing, widening the potential liability for an industry that has shelled out billions of dollars to settle investigations [...]

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  • May 2 2013

    Hooters, Surgery Tweeters, Media Manipulators – a marketing roundup

    Novartis and Hooters Is it a kickback to get doctors to prescribe certain drugs? Or is it truly an educational meeting for doctors – that happens to be held at places like Hooters across the country? Read the Wall Street Journal’s story from last week, “U.S. Accuses Novartis of Kickbacks.” It’s about a civil fraud [...]

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  • Apr 16 2013

    Generic statins now “a market commodity, no different from grains of rice or sugar”

    Some drug stores in the US are now giving away statin drugs for cholesterol. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on a chain in its area doing so: “Retail grocery store competition is fierce, and Wegmans is trying to get an edge by giving away – yes, free – a generic version of what was the world’s [...]

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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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  • Feb 13 2013

    Some stuff you may not want to hear about why your doctor chooses certain drugs

    Drug companies clearly have a lot riding on understanding doctors’ prescribing behavior and how they assign trust to brands and to specific drugs. A Harris Poll of physicians found that: “…when it comes to driving trust, emotional connection, relationships with sales representatives, and perceptions of the pharmaceutical company or companies backing the product can be [...]

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  • Feb 11 2013

    Oh No! No disclosure of Ohno drug company payment

    Olympian Apolo Anton Ohno is a marketable commodity. And drug company Teva Pharmaceuticals is riding those fast blades for all it can. And media love reporting on how Ohno is now the “national face” of the exercise-induced brochospasm campaign sponsored by Teva, which gives the condition the acronym label of EIB. Acronyms are hot in [...]

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  • Feb 7 2013

    David Healy’s depressing reflection on 25th anniversary of Prozac & SSRIs for depression

    Psychiatrist-author David Healy blogs about “Prozac and SSRIs:  Twenty-fifth Anniversary.” In his post, he touches on: the phenomenal explosion in the use of antidepressants suicides triggered by antidepressant use birth defects and miscarriages from antidepressants used in pregnancy “the dead doctor sketch” – what antidepressant prescribing has done to the practice of medicine and to [...]

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