Health News Review
  • 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 15 2012

    Supersized reactions to Mayor Bloomberg’s soda ban plan

    Here’s a glimpse of just some of the commentary on NY mayor Bloomberg’s call for a ban on supersized soda in any public place regulated by the city health department. It’s become a battle of clever headlines: Soda Jerk Soda Plan Fizzles Sugar Daddy City Health Weasels Go “Pop” On, William Saletan called Bloomberg [...]

    4 Comments 1 Star
  • Feb 16 2012 – another solid resource for journalists

    I’ve recently become aware of – and hope to collaborate and share ideas with – a Canadian website called The founders describe this as “a non-partisan web-based project funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Manitoba Health Research Council to make the latest evidence on controversial health policy issues available to the media.  [...]

    No Comments 1 Star
  • Feb 3 2012

    The Komen Kollection

    There has been no need for the Watchdog to weigh in on the Planned Parenthood/Komen fiasco this week.  We generally tend to write about things that otherwise might go un-noticed.  This issue – deservedly – was inescapable this week in news stories and through social media. We remind you that we tend to focus on [...]

    1 Comment 1 Star
  • Feb 1 2012

    Under-reported prostate cancer news: study questions proton beam therapy; NJ clash between evidence & politics

    As far as I can tell, Marilynn Marchione of the AP is the only mainstream news media journalist to report that  “A study of Medicare records found that men treated with proton beams later had one-third more bowel problems, such as bleeding and blockages, than similar men given conventional radiation.” She reports that results “were [...]

    2 Comments 1 Star
  • Jan 11 2012

    Health policy fear-mongering fraud on radio call-in show – how often does this occur on American airwaves?

    In more than 7 years of blogging about health care messages affecting the public dialogue, I don’t think I’ve ever written before about radio call-in programs.  But this one hit pretty close to home. Nothing makes me more upset than people fear-mongering and lying about health care to suit their own interests. I don’t listen [...]

    3 Comments 1 Star
  • Dec 22 2011

    Unwrapping early presents, wrapping up ’11 Health Wonk Review series

    A sleigh led by a dog. Hey, the red-nosed reindeer had nothing on this mutt.  Like Rudolph’s maiden voyage with the fat man, this is the Watchdog’s first time hosting the Wonk Review.  So buckle up for a wild ride.     Man, there’s a lot in Santa’s bag:  unbundling the bundle in the jungle, [...]

    3 Comments 1 Star
  • Nov 1 2011

    Cancer expert asks “Are we as a society prepared to pay attention to scientific evidence?”

    It’s ironic that this now makes three consecutive entries on this blog that all relate to public misconceptions or misunderstanding of how science works. • Yesterday I blogged about a science writer’s lament about how reader comments sometimes display an inability to accept evidence. • Earlier today I posted a humorous piece from The Daily [...]

    1 Comment
  • Oct 26 2011

    British breast cancer screening now under independent review

    Questions about how best to communicate to the public about the tradeoffs of potential benefits versus potential harms of mammography do not end at America’s shores. The Guardian of London reports: An independent investigation into breast cancer screening has been set up by the government’s cancer chief to try to settle the growing controversy around [...]

    No Comments
  • Oct 13 2011

    The limitations of progression-free survival as an endpoint – NPR addresses

    On the NPR Shots blog, Scott Hensley addresses, “Avastin For Breast Cancer: Hope Versus False Hope.” Excerpt: Any day now FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg is expected to make a final decision on Avastin’s fate. Women who said Avastin helped their breast cancer were out in force at a June hearing of an appeal of FDA’s [...]