Health News Review
  • Jul 29 2010

    WSJ: Senator Slams FDA Advisory Committee’s Avastin Decision

    Only so much to say about this story. It’s about Senator David Vitter of Louisana. He says that an FDA advisory committee’s vote to revoke the approval of Roche-Genentech’s Avastin for treating breast cancer is “essentially government rationing.” The WSJ reports: New studies presented to the panel showed more side effects among women being treated [...]

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  • Jun 27 2010

    Weekend catchup: Consumer caveats on orthopedic devices; TV drug ads; George Carlin’s 7 words; Michigan bans corporate CME

    The New York Times had an important story that “highlights what experts say is a troubling situation for patients and doctors: when disputes arise about orthopedic implant safety, there are no independent referees or sources of information because no one tracks the performance of the devices. …Those with the most to lose are the hundreds [...]

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  • Jun 18 2010

    The huge mosaic of medical marketing muck inundating American consumers every day

    While we recover from the news that flibanserin was unanimously rejected by a vote of an FDA advisory panel because the data didn’t match some of the hyped claims, let’s catch up on some stuff the FDA caught about the marketing of drugs it had already approved. The Dow Jones Newswire reports: “The U.S. Food [...]

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  • Jun 18 2010

    Anti-climax: flibanserin flops before FDA

    The AP reports: “…members of the Food and Drug Administration’s reproductive drugs panel voted 11-0 that the drug’s benefits did not outweigh side effects, including fatigue, depression and fainting spells. Flibanserin failed to increase sexual desire, as recorded by women in daily journals, in two company studies. The FDA will make its own decision on [...]

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  • Jun 17 2010

    Why don’t more journalists question the 40% female sexual dysfunction estimate?

    The crescendo of news in anticipation of an FDA advisory committee’s consideration of the drug flibanserin for hypoactive sexual desire disorder or HSDD is crazy. And few stories question the oft-cited estimate that up to 40% of women may have this problem. Why don’t they cite the source? Why don’t they explain how flimsy the [...]

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  • Jun 14 2010

    FDA, flibanserin & female sexual dysfunction

    This week the FDA will vote on flibanserin, the much-talked-about drug for women with the condition called hypoactive sexual desire disorder or – because everything in sexual health needs an acronym like ED or PE – HSDD. On the eve of the FDA vote, CBS last week ran still another story about flibanserin. This drug [...]

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  • Mar 11 2010

    Practicing medicine in the dark

    That’s how researchers Michael Hochman of USC and Danny McCormick of Harvard described medicine’s lack of evidence for many treatments in an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times that reflects on the authors’ paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association this week. Excerpt of the op-ed piece: “.. we analyzed 328 [...]

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  • Feb 4 2010

    Forbes’ Terrific “Ten Misleading Drug Ads” slideshow

    Make sure you see the onslide slideshow accompanying this article about how the FDA is cracking down on drug companies for ads that underplay serious risks. The slideshow gives you details on the ad or promotional campaign behind the drug and includes copies of the warning letters the FDA sent to the companies responsible for [...]

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  • Dec 10 2009

    CBS tells a touching medical story. Unfortunately it was woefully incomplete.

    CBS News ran a segment last night on a little girl who apparently benefited from the use of a left ventricular assist device called “The Berlin Heart” – a device that supported her heart for a few days while she waited for a heart transplant. The girl was the daughter of Chicago Bears football player [...]

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  • Dec 9 2009

    How a drug company courts news coverage to create demand for a new drug

    The Wall Street Journal Health Blog published an interesting inside look of – as they put it – “how drug makers can try to lay the groundwork for sales well before a new therapy hits the market.” The topic is premature ejaculation. Some might call the methods “disease-mongering.”

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