Health News Review
  • Nov 20 2014

    Hockey fans treated to more than slap shot; how about prostate exam?

    Milwaukee media loved this Movember promotion. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported: Milwaukee Admirals vice president of sales and marketing Mike Wojciechowski will undergo a prostate examination at Saturday night’s match against the Rockford Ice Hogs to raise awareness of men’s health issues…. The team is holding promotions during November to help raise money for the [...]

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  • Nov 19 2014

    Evaluating evidence in media messages about breast cancer

    The National Breast Cancer Coalition asked me to deliver a presentation at its Project LEAD® workshop in Washington, DC, on November 16. Project LEAD® is designed for NBCC members who want “an introductory education in the science of breast cancer, research design, advocacy and understanding medical news in the media.” My slides appear below.   [...]

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  • Oct 31 2014

    Radiologists’ free mammography infographic leaves out vital info

    As another Breast Cancer Awareness month closes for another year, let’s take a look at an infographic that the American College of Radiology sent out to journalists earlier this month.  Here’s a portion of the email that I received:   We all make mistakes, but the misspelling of mammography gets this email off to a [...]

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  • Jul 30 2014

    Sit back & watch urologists go at it over robotic surgery claims

    I’m on vacation this week but I enjoyed sitting back and watching a urology kerfuffle over claims about a robotic surgery study and associated news release. Here’s what the American Urological Association (AUA) tweeted earlier today.  The Twitter responses are from a Pittsburgh urologist whose Twitter handle is @daviesbj. There’s a lot going on here, [...]

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  • Jul 22 2014

    What the public doesn’t see about pharma trying to buy influence

    The big European Society of Cardiology world congress will be held in Barcelona next month. Larry Husten of Cardiobrief.org shared an invitation he received from a PR company, which read, in part: “…for an internal event organized by Sanofi Regeneron (PCSK9) on August 30 in Barcelona, we are looking for a moderator for the whole [...]

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  • Jun 26 2014

    Questioning some of the ways in which new drug treatments are reported to the public

    While I’m working on a grant proposal to keep this project alive, my publishing efforts have fallen off a bit.  But it’s comforting to know that somebody else is doing some watchdog work – somebody like Paul Raeburn at the Knight Science Journalism Tracker. This week he wrote, “Cystic fibrosis breakthrough, or Wall Street coup?” [...]

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  • Apr 4 2014

    “Check ‘em Tuesday” and CoppaFeel campaign strong on promotion, weak on evidence

    Newspapers that get involved in screening campaigns usually demonstrate that they don’t understand the limitations of screening. The latest example is The Sun of the UK, with its “Check ‘em Tuesday” campaign. The Sun has a thing for breasts.  It puts topless women in its regular Page 3 feature.  And, as you see, it cross-promotes [...]

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  • Feb 6 2014

    Journalism via news release as Pfizer gets free publicity without releasing any data

    This week, Pfizer announced news from a trial of a drug for advanced breast cancer. The Pfizer news release stated “that the randomized Phase 2 trial [PALOMA-1] of palbociclib achieved its primary endpoint by demonstrating a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) for the combination of palbociclib and letrozole compared with [...]

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  • Dec 18 2013

    4th annual year-ender on health care PR crap

    I don’t think all public relations messages about health care are crap.  But most of what I see is. And I can’t stand seeing public relations that may end up hurting the public. The Public Relations Society of America’s code of ethics talks about serving the public good…and “a special obligation to operate ethically.” Hmm.  [...]

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