Health News Review
  • 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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  • Apr 4 2013

    TIME, TIME Warner ethical questions raised in cancer coverage

    Last week we posted Seth Mnookin’s criticism of TIME magazine’s cover story, “How to Cure Cancer.” We didn’t, at first, comment on Paul Raeburn’s analysis on the Knight Science Journalism Tracker, “TIME magazine wins the war on cancer!” But now Raeburn is back with a new angle, writing that “TIME violates industry advertising guidelines in [...]

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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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  • Mar 26 2013

    Robotic surgery safety/marketing concerns in Boston Globe & NY Times stories

    The Boston Globe reports that: Reports of complications from robot-assisted surgery are rising, according to Massachusetts health officials who sent hospitals an “advisory” letter last week alerting them about their safety concerns. In some cases, it appears that doctors have used the aggressively marketed robots to perform hysterectomies and colorectal operations that were too complex [...]

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