Health News Review
  • Nov 5 2012

    “Embargoes… can be bad for the public health.”

    Let’s start the week with some embargo issues!  How’s that for fun? On the NPR Shots blog, David Schultz writes, “What We Wanted To Tell You About Mumps But Couldn’t.”   He begins: Last week, we wrote about an outbreak of mumps within several Orthodox Jewish communities in and around New York City. We told [...]

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  • Nov 1 2012

    “Keep some healthy skepticism about claims for silver bullets, perfect cures, and huge effects”

    My enthusiasm for the work of Dr. John Ioannidis of Stanford is shared by Harold DeMonaco, one of our story reviewers on  DeMonaco submitted the following guest blog post, which I’m pleased to publish: ——————————————— The headline of this post is a quote from a recent interview that Gary pointed to in a recent [...]

  • Oct 31 2012

    Take that, Ingelfinger! Embargo Watch toasts new open-access journal’s policy

    On the Embargo Watch blog, Ivan Oransky writes: “eLife, the new open-access journal funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society, and the Wellcome Trust, announced its media policy earlier this week.  … I love this policy. From the policy’s preamble: First, we are encouraging authors whose work has been accepted for [...]

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  • Oct 31 2012

    BMJ pushes Roche for raw data on Tamiflu trials

    BMJ journal editor Fiona Godlee this week published an open letter to Roche, makers of the flu drug Tamiflu. Background provided by BMJ: Roche promised in 2009 to release full reports from clinical trials of oseltamivir in response to an investigation by the BMJ and the Cochrane Collaboration. In this open letter to John Bell, [...]

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  • Oct 25 2012

    Catching up on Embargo Watch & Retraction Watch gems

    On the Embargo Watch blog, Ivan Oransky keeps chipping away at the question of whose interests are served by embargoes. In “Break a JAMA embargo, get blacklisted.  Then what?” he writes: Adam Feuerstein and Patricia Anstett are part of an elite journalism club. They’ve both been blacklisted by the Journal of the American Medical Association [...]

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  • Oct 10 2012

    HealthDay publishes two examples of news-release-journalism in one day

    And it may happen on many other days as well – with them – or with others.  But these two got our goat. 1.  New MRI MIght Help Spot Heart Disease Early:  Study It’s entirely based on a news release from the journal Radiology.  There is no independent analysis of claims such as this: “The [...]

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  • Sep 24 2012

    More on publication bias and conflict of interest

    Recently, I wrote about an article published by PLoS One that pointed out the potential for flawed reporting on the results of published clinical trials. Now, Harold DeMonaco, one of our story reviewers and a frequent guest blogger on our site, writes about an article and accompanying editorial in the September 20 edition of the [...]

  • Sep 14 2012

    Publication bias – and “why most biomedical findings echoed by newspapers turn out to be false”

    A paper in the online journal PLoS One looked at news coverage of studies on ADHD and concluded: “Because newspapers preferentially echo initial ADHD findings appearing in prominent journals, they report on uncertain findings that are often refuted or attenuated by subsequent studies. If this media reporting bias generalizes to health sciences, it represents a [...]

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  • Jul 11 2012

    BMJ news release on alcohol & arthritis may have contributed to misleading coverage

    Around the globe today, there are misleading headlines about a study in the BMJ, “Long term alcohol intake and risk of rheumatoid arthritis in women: a population based cohort study.” Alcohol cuts arthritis risk by half in women – Times of India Alcohol ‘lowers arthritis risk’ for women – The Independent Alcohol ‘lowers arthritis risk’ [...]

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  • Jul 5 2012

    Iain Chalmers on publication bias

    Iain Chalmers, British health-services researcher, and founder of the Cochrane Collaboration, recently wrote a column, “Publish or Perish.”  Excerpts: “…failure to publish research results is by far the most common and worrying form of scientific and ethical misconduct in health research – and it has had lethal consequences. Anecdotal evidence of publication bias has existed [...]

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