Health News Review
  • Aug 22 2013

    Selling the Cyberknife on WCCO’s CBS HealthWatch

    I’m watching local news on my local CBS affiliate, WCCO, the other night. And I wake up from the daze of crime and creampuff stories to see that there’s a story about the Cyberknife “radiosurgery” system at a local health care provider, HealthEast. I see brief clips with two satisfied patients, an interview with a [...]

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  • Jul 12 2013

    Docs could probably sleep through this and still earn $200

    There’s nothing terribly new or surprising about the kind of email invitation to doctors that we came across today. We simply present it as an opportunity for the general public to get a glimpse of how some of their doctors may be “educated” about new drugs. Register for a 90-minute webinar about a sleep drug [...]

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  • May 30 2013

    To a man with a new hammer….marketing claims of robotic “firsts” piling up

    Health care marketing of robotic surgery systems knows no bounds.  At the end of this piece, you can see a list of past posts on this marketing trend. Besides the explosive use in prostate surgery, we’ve seen promotions of robotic “firsts” for: first robotic cholecystectomy first TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) to treat sleep apnea first [...]

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  • May 14 2013

    News story shines light on hospitals promoting questionable screenings

    Kudos to Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News, and the Washington Post for publishing the story, “Hospitals promote screenings that experts say many people do not need.” It’s a story that is reported infrequently, even though it could be reported any time in almost any city in the US – the practice is that widespread. The [...]

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  • May 7 2013

    Real time or hospital time? Analyzing ER wait time claims

    Last week we spent all week poking holes in various medical marketing claims on this blog.  Shall we have another go at it this week? Karen Shiffman of WBUR in Boston cut herself while cutting flowers, went to the ER, and then tested the advertising claim that this particular ER would only have a 19 [...]

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  • May 3 2013

    Knee replacement surgery isn’t like peeling an apple; things young prospective patients should know

    So I’m watching the evening network TV news the other night – I know, silly me – and I see this commercial pop up that visualizes artificial knee joint replacement surgery like peeling an apple. Now part of the ad pitch is that this is for “partial knee replacement.” You know what?  Partial or not, [...]

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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

    Marketing marriage made in heaven (?) – medical center & mall & surgical robots

    In December of 2011 I wrote about about New Jersey’s Saint Barnabas medical center promoting its robotic surgery system to holiday shoppers at a New Jersey shopping mall. Then, in December of 2012, I wrote about the mall marketing trend spreading to places around the country. Now, the New Jersey medical center gets more publicity by [...]

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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 30 2013

    The allure of “Michelle Obama Arms” – Lifting the hype bar on upper arm lift surgery

    Fact:  the US spends a far greater percentage of the Gross Domestic Product on health care than any other country on earth. Suggestion:  trends like the following, and news stories about these trends, may be a big reason why. Caution: You need to sit through a 15-second commercial before seeing the news video, which, itself [...]

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