Health News Review
  • Mar 25 2015

    A call to ban advertising testosterone for anti-aging

    The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society published an editorial, “Disease Mongering of Age-Associated Declines in Testosterone and Growth Hormone Levels.”  It’s written by Dr. Thomas Perls, Professor of Medicine and Geriatrics, Boston Medical Center and Dr. David Handelsman of the University of Sydney. Because we want to devote more attention to health care advertising [...]

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  • Feb 12 2015

    Academic science journalism project unveils gaps in reporting research misconduct

    In JAMA Internal Medicine this week there’s an article that is especially newsworthy:  “Research Misconduct Identified by the US Food and Drug Administration:  Out of Sight, Out of Mind, Out of the Peer-Reviewed Literature.”  Excerpts: Every year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspects several hundred clinical sites performing biomedical research on human participants [...]

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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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  • Jan 24 2014

    JAMA papers raise questions about FDA drug and device approval

    An important series of papers was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association this week. “Clinical Trial Evidence Supporting FDA Approval of Novel Therapeutic Agents, 2005-2012,” by Dr. Joseph Ross and colleagues, concluded that the quality of clinical trial evidence used by the FDA as the basis of approving new drugs varies widely.  [...]

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  • Jul 19 2013

    FDA warning letter to robotic surgery manufacturer, which complains of “negative press”

    Bloomberg News reports: “Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG), the maker of robotic surgical devices, fell in extended trading after it disclosed a Food and Drug Administration warning letter and reduced its sales forecast. The company received the warning letter July 17, Chief Executive Officer Gary Guthart said during a conference call with analysts to discuss quarterly [...]

  • Apr 17 2013

    How “groundbreaking” are skin cholesterol tests?

    In a week in which we already wrote about US drug stores giving out free statin drugs, we thought readers might be interested in how a new (new-ish) skin cholesterol test is being marketed, and how some Canadian drug stores are getting in on the act. Someone in Canada sent me the following news release: [...]

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  • Apr 9 2013

    Urology journal publishes papers with questions about robots and proton beam therapy

    Probably the two most frequent subjects on this blog regarding the proliferation of new medical technologies are proton beam radiation therapy and robotic surgery.  Since this blog focuses on media messages about health care interventions, we generally focus on the marketing claims made for these technologies. The latest edition of the journal Current Urology Reports [...]

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  • Nov 20 2012 — A Megaphone For Patients and Their Doctors

    Noteworthy new website launch – “Making medicines safer for all of us.” It’s founded by Dr. David Healy, internationally renowned psychiatrist and author from Wales; Dr. Dee Mangin of New Zealand, Dr. Kalman Applbaum of the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Nancy Olivieri and others you can read about here. The project’s own description: “RxISK [...]

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  • Oct 18 2012

    Medical devices and shared decision-making: Daisy chains of decades of device approval without rigorous assessment

    The journal Arthritis Care & Research has accepted for future publication – and posted online (for subscribers) – an unedited paper, “Preceding the Procedure:  Medical Devices and Shared Decision-Making.”  The paper builds on a hypothetical example of a man in his 50s with hip arthritis who is facing a decision about total hip replacement.  Excerpts: [...]

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  • Mar 8 2012

    New survey shows FDA employees’ medical device approval concerns

    The NPR “Shots” blog and the Star Tribune were the only mainstream news organizations I saw that reported on a new survey by the Union of Concerned Scientists (opens as pdf file). Under the headline, “FDA Survey uncovers concerns over influence,” the Strib reported: Some workers in the medical device approval section of the Food [...]

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