Health News Review
  • Jan 11 2013

    Yale’s Harlan Krumholz: 5 Things You Should Know On The Myth Of Tamiflu

    Have you ever tried having a discussion of the evidence for Tamiflu with your doctor? (A physician-reader of our work has reminded me to use generic names whenever possible.  The generic name for Tamiflu is oseltamivir.) Is this one of the top medical marketing success stories after, say, Lamisil (terbinafine) for toenail fungus? On Forbes.com, [...]

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  • Jan 3 2013

    Cyberknife ads – one example of increasing excess of hospital marketing

    We’ve been following claims for Cyberknife “knife-less surgery” for a long time.  See search results from our blog. We’ve seen billboards promoting it in the metropolitan health care market we live in.   And big East Coast medical centers promoting it at subway stops. But only recently did we start noticing many TV commercials promoting [...]

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  • Dec 26 2012

    3rd annual year-ender on health care PR crap we receive

    I’ve been too nice the past two years, calling my year-enders “PR puffery” or “PR stuff.” The stuff I’m writing about here is pure crap.  So we’re calling it that. This annual series is about the bombardment of news releases sent to journalists who are trying to decide what is vital information for readers, viewers [...]

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  • Dec 19 2012

    A new holiday tradition: See Santa & surgical toyland in the mall

    We wrote about this one year ago, “Come to the mall to sit on Santa’s lap…or play with his robotic surgery system.” So, I guess, two years running makes a tradition. That was about some New Jersey doctors playing with their robot at a New Jersey mall.  It must have been a big hit for [...]

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  • Nov 16 2012

    Up the nose…in the armpit…what else can you do with testosterone?

    Putting the update at the top:  hours after posting this, I’ve now been told there are, indeed, anal testosterone suppositories. Thanks to Leonore Tiefer for this tip: The newest “female sexual dysfunction drug” hitting the PR waves is a nasal testosterone gel in clinical trials in the US, Canada and Australia. The Dinah Project website [...]

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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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  • Oct 31 2012

    More Pfizer Pfun

    The Alt_Mentalities website published a piece, “Lemons into Lemonade: How an off-label marketing fine can be good for business,” tracking Pfizer’s journey through fines for off-label marketing of Neurontin and, later, for Lyrica and other drugs. Punchline question in the piece: “Was taking the hit for off-label marketing in 2004 all part of a plan to boost [...]

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  • Oct 19 2012

    Critics detect hype in “Bra Detects Breast Cancer” news

    At one point, the Boston Globe’s website splashed the breast-cancer-bra news on its home page. In a story devoid of vital details, the feeble attempt to explain anything fell far short. “The bra has been tested for sensitivity and accuracy in three clinical trials involving 650 subjects,” the story gushed.  Only problem:  it didn’t tell [...]

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  • Oct 12 2012

    “What Doctors Don’t Tell You” magazine – reviewed in BMJ and Quackometer

    Dr. Margaret McCartney, who helped launch the PrivateHealthScreening.org site we wrote about yesterday, has a piece in the BMJ this week, “What a new consumer health magazine doesn’t tell you.”  (Subscription required for full access.) Excerpts: “It looks just like any other magazine on the shelves of the newsagent aimed at middle aged women: glossy, [...]

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  • Jul 19 2012

    BMJ/BBC: “Striking lack of evidence” to back up claims for popular sports brands

    A joint news release from the BMJ and the BBC states: (Sorry I can’t do more than post the news release for now.  I’m traveling.) With the biggest sporting event in the world just a week away, a joint investigation by the BMJ and BBC Panorama has found that there is “a striking lack of [...]

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