Health News Review
  • May 21 2013

    IMRT for prostate cancer: newer, costlier radiation no better than old

    HealthDay reports on a paper published in JAMA Internal Medicine: “The costly form of radiation therapy that has become the norm for prostate cancer in the United States may be no better than the older, cheaper variety — at least for some men, a new study suggests. Researchers found that among more than 1,000 U.S. [...]

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  • May 8 2013

    Medicare makes big news with big data dump on hospital charges

    The Washington Post Wonkblog:  “One hospital charges $8,000 – another, $38,000.” The piece contains an interactive graphic to allow readers to check on how much providers charge in their state.  And it used this graphic:   The Huffington Post:  “Hospital Prices No Longer Secret As New Data Reveals Bewildering System, Staggering Cost Differences.” Their graphic: [...]

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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 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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  • 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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  • Jan 15 2013

    The media are influential…on everyone else, say Alzheimer’s specialists

    Nice catch by my colleague Andrew Holtz (one of our story reviewers on HealthNewsReview.org) as he combed the literature and settled on a paper in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease entitled, “Dementia Specialists and Early Adoption of Amyloid Imaging.”  With Andrew’s permission, I am reposting his piece in its entirety. ————————————————— A new survey of [...]

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  • Dec 20 2012

    Oregon: Just saying “No” to expensive proton beam therapy (for now, at least)

    The Oregonian reports something you don’t hear very often these days – a medical center saying “NO” – at least for now – to the medical arms race. And by dropping their plans to acquire a proton beam therapy facility, they said “NO” in a big way.   The Oregonian reports: In recent years, large medical [...]

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  • Dec 13 2012

    Other views on the NYT op-ed, “The 2,000 Year-Old Wonder Drug”

    Dr. David Agus, tireless promoter of his book, “The End of Illness,” and whose involvement in an ABC news story about a reporter’s coronary calcium CT scan led to the network correcting/retracting the piece, is now at it again. The New York Times published his op-ed piece, “The 2,000-Year-Old Wonder Drug,” the start of which [...]

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  • Nov 15 2012

    How much does an MRI cost? $295 or $3,000? Both?

    The Clear Health Costs blog published a two-part piece on the variable costs of MRI tests. Excerpt of part 1: Different facilities (hospital, radiology center, doctor’s office) charge vastly different prices for MRIs. For example, the cash price of a lumbar spine MRI at a hospital in California can reach more than $3,000, while the [...]

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  • Nov 5 2012

    Proton Beam Therapy: evaluating claims in ASTRO papers of “excellent” quality of life data

    Last week, the American Society for Radiation Oncology’s annual conference was held in Boston, and several papers were presented on proton beam therapy, and several medical centers sent out news releases about their involvement in the work.  MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston  and Loma Linda University Medical Center in California were two that we [...]

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