Health News Review
  • May 3 2013

    States go after pharma for deceptive marketing

    Since we’ve been on a medical marketing kick this week, let’s catch up to what The Wall Street Journal reported last week: “Authorities in some U.S. states have become more aggressive in accusing drug makers of deceptive marketing, widening the potential liability for an industry that has shelled out billions of dollars to settle investigations led by the federal government. …some states have chosen to go it alone, a stra…

  • Feb 14 2010

    Robotic prostatectomy love affair driven by marketing

    Gina Kolata’s NYT piece, “Results Unproven, Robotic Surgery Wins Converts,” looks at how “robot-assisted prostate surgery has grown at a nearly unprecedented rate.” Excerpts from the story: • “..robot-assisted prostate surgery costs more — about $1,500 to $2,000 more per patient. And it is not clear whether its outcomes are better, worse or the same.” • “Meanwhile, marketing has moved into th…

  • May 26 2011

    The more medical students are exposed to pharma marketing, the more they like it and deny its influence

    The editors of PLoS Medicine conclude that a new Harvard analysis published in their journal: “…shows that (medical) students are frequently exposed to pharmaceutical marketing, even in the preclinical years, and that the extent of students’ contact with industry is generally associated with positive attitudes about marketing and skepticism towards any negative implications of interactions with industry. Therefore, strategies …

  • Mar 26 2013

    Robotic surgery safety/marketing concerns in Boston Globe & NY Times stories

    …d invited the public to get behind the controls of its new robot in January, while others including Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital Milton have erected highway billboards. The hospitals now say they are reviewing some of their marketing activities. What is odd is that the Massachusetts officials, according to the Globe, would not provide the data about how many patient injuries during robotic surgery had occurred over the past two years – on…

  • Jul 20 2011

    Health Beat blog: harm outweighs benefit in DTC marketing of heart screening

    On the Health Beat blog, Naomi Freundlich writes, “Harm Outweighs Benefit when Cardiac Tests Are Marketed Directly to Consumers.” In this lengthy piece, she reflects on: • marketing of heart scans, including to journalist Marshall Allen, who then wrote about it; • a recent JAMA commentary that explored the campaigns of the LifeLine Screening company; • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of Los Angeles selling gift certificates for heart…

  • Jan 21 2010

    The marketing of a “me too” drug

    John Mack, on his terrific Pharma Marketing Blog, gives us a pharma marketing perspective on the creation of an Omega-3 fatty acid prescription drug. Excerpt: “The pharmaceutical industry is often criticized for developing new Rx drugs having little value over current medications. Such drugs are called ‘me-too’ drugs because of their similarity to existing Rx drugs. Glaxo has now taken this to a completely NEW level: developin…

  • Jun 18 2010

    The huge mosaic of medical marketing muck inundating American consumers every day

    While we recover from the news that flibanserin was unanimously rejected by a vote of an FDA advisory panel because the data didn’t match some of the hyped claims, let’s catch up on some stuff the FDA caught about the marketing of drugs it had already approved. The Dow Jones Newswire reports: “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent letters to several companies requesting that they stop distributing misleading promotional m…

  • Apr 4 2013

    Drug marketing blamed for increase in ADHD diagnoses

    A Minneapolis-area psychiatrist, Charles Dean, published an opinion piece in the Star Tribune, “Rise in ADHD cases is due to marketing.“ It appeared adjacent to the Strib’s republishing of the NYT op-ed piece, “Diagnosis:  Human,” by Ted Gup – that we blogged about yesterday. Dr. Dean writes: “The 53 percent increase in the diagnosis of ADHD in the past 10 years cannot be explained on the basis of geneti…

  • Mar 26 2012

    Another study analyzes hospitals’ unsubstantiated marketing claims for robotic surgery

    …ms often implied superiority (“state-of-the-art/cutting-edge”) and incorporated “emotional” wording such as “owe it to yourself” and “loved one.” “Our findings reveal that marketing by hospitals of robotic gynecologic surgery is widespread, and that web-based content is frequently not supported by high-level data and is strongly influenced by industry,” said Schiavone, of Columbia Univer…

  • Aug 13 2007

    Under the influence of drug marketing

    The Los Angeles Times last week published a series of articles on drug marketing. Excerpts: “In a nation that consumed $279-billion worth of prescription medications in 2006 – spending 80% of that on brand name drugs – their efforts appear to be paying off. Americans filling a prescription choose brand-name products 37% of the time, even though three quarters of all prescription drugs in the U.S. are available in cheaper ge…




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