Health News Review
  • 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 [...]

    6 Comments
  • Dec 6 2012

    Incomplete MPR reporting on Mayo prostate cancer scan

    I’m a big fan of Minnesota Public Radio and usually a big fan of their health care news coverage. They’ve done some bold and innovative coverage in recent years. But when I heard (on the radio) and saw (online) MPR’s story, “Prostate cancer scan advance helps Mayo doctors with early detection,” I saw some red [...]

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  • Nov 26 2012

    More Star Tribune home cooking on medical device stories about Medtronic, St. Jude

    If there is an editorial bias in a newspaper one can look for it in many ways. For example: what a paper chooses to write about, how it does so, and what a paper chooses not to write about.  Just 3 weeks ago I wrote, “Reporting on Medtronic mess – recipe for home cooking in [...]

    5 Comments
  • 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 [...]

    3 Comments
  • Nov 1 2012

    Reporting on the Medtronic mess – a recipe for home cooking in Twin Cities?

    One of the most thorough examinations of the Senate Finance Committee report on Medtronic’s research and marketing of its spinal surgery product, Infuse, was delivered by Roy Poses on his Health Care Renewal blog: “Marketers’ Systemic Influence over Ostensibly Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed Publications: the Medtronic Infuse BMP-2 Example.” His powerful concluding suggestion: “Going forward, we must [...]

    1 Comment
  • Oct 18 2012

    Medical devices and shared decision-making: Daisy chains of decades of device approval without rigorous assessment

    The journal Arthritis Care & Research has accepted for future publication – and posted online (for subscribers) – an unedited paper, “Preceding the Procedure:  Medical Devices and Shared Decision-Making.”  The paper builds on a hypothetical example of a man in his 50s with hip arthritis who is facing a decision about total hip replacement.  Excerpts: [...]

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  • Jun 15 2012

    Industry editorial makes outlandish claim about impact of medical devices

    Minnesota is the home of several medical device makers.  So there’s been a lot of editorializing about the medical device tax in the Affordable Care Act. There has been some criticism of Minnesota politicians over whose interests they represent on the issue. Today’s Star Tribune carries a commentary from an industry spokesman – Dale Wahlstrom, [...]

    6 Comments 1 Star
  • Jun 12 2012

    When Practitioners Harm More Than Heal

    “Missing The Target: When Practitioners Harm More Than Heal” is the title of a two-day conference in Washington this week (June 14-15) hosted by PharmedOut.org at Georgetown.  This is their third annual conference – this one focusing on how patient harms may result from industry promotions. The full agenda and abstracts are now available online. [...]

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  • Jun 6 2012

    Is summertime bringing new wave of ads for artificial knees?

    I was watching the NBC Nightly News the other night and saw a Stryker ad for its GetAroundKnee.com.  I couldn’t find the TV commercial online, but this is from their website:   That same day, I found this ad in the July issue of Prevention magazine.     More than year ago I wrote about [...]

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  • May 30 2012

    DaVinci robot: “a pseudo-innovation — increases costs without improving patients’ health”

    On the New York Times’ online opinion page, Dr. Zeke Emanuel wrote, “In Medicine, Falling for Fake Innovation.”  Excerpt: “The sleek, four-armed “da Vinci” robot has been called a breakthrough technology for procedures like prostate surgery. “Imagine,” the manufacturer says, “having the benefits of a definitive treatment but with the potential for significantly less pain, [...]

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