Health News Review
  • Nov 15 2010

    Marketing of lung CA CT scans spreads across the country

    Last week, after the National Lung Screening Trial results were released, David Sampson, American Cancer Society director of medical and scientific communications, wrote that “our greatest fear was that forces with an economic interest in the test would sidestep the scientific process and use the release of the data to start promoting CT scans. Frankly, even we are surprised how quickly that has happened.” And, yes, the marketing ha…

  • Jul 12 2012

    Marketing and politicizing menopause

    The Associated Press reported this week on the marketing of a new line of menopause products – “a line of products that target 50 million American women who are or will soon go through menopause. Priced between $3.99 and $7.99, the line includes lubricant for vaginal dryness, panty freshener stickers and feminine wash for odor and cooling towelettes and roll-on gel for women having hot flashes.” Excerpt: Feminine washes are usu…

  • Sep 11 2012

    A couple of gems from AP and Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

    Runaway medical marketing is the theme of two unrelated pieces this week by two different news sources.  A joint project of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and MedPage Today offers a followup look at “What happened to the poster children of OxyContin?”  Excerpt: “Purdue Pharma’s aggressive marketing of OxyContin in the late 1990s marked the beginning of the industry’s push of narcotic painkillers to treat long-term …

  • Jan 18 2011

    Marketing of genetic tests – the next wave of overmedicalization?

    …mful products. In Britain a government advisory body recently released a set of principles that it hopes will be taken up as a voluntary code of practice–a pusillanimous response already criticised as helping facilitate marketing rather than ensure proper regulation. Meanwhile the not for profit group GeneWatch UK warns that genetic tests may be used to sell unnecessary preventive drugs to healthy people and suggests that the tests be restr…

  • Mar 9 2011

    Pharma Marketing Blog says Pfizer/Amgen have lame arthritis campaign

    John Mack’s Pharma Marketing Blog is always an entertaining and informative read. Last week he posted what he stressed was NOT an attack on pro golfer Phil Mickelson. Mack explained he’d already done that – back last August when he asked, “Is Phil Mickelson Shilling for Enbrel?” and in another post just a few weeks ago. This time, Mack criticized: “the ‘non-branded’ disease awareness campaign j…

  • Feb 27 2008

    Drug Trials Should Not Be Done for Marketing Purposes Only

    …eer-reviewed medical journal is not expected for months, and the first public presentation of the study’s findings in a medical setting will not occur before late March 2008. Lesson 1: Drug Trials Should Not Be Done for Marketing Purposes Only Lesson 2: The News Media Must Be Sure to Get the Facts Straight. Errors in Reporting Can Cause Serious Damage, and Patients May Be Harmed or Become Distressed From the Resulting Confusion Lesson 3: Le…

  • 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…

  • Jul 1 2014

    Watch World Cup, get free skin CA screening – more hospital marketing

    It’s a new twist on “having skin in the game.” During today’s USA World Cup match, Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City tweeted: Ok to cheer for the red, white and blue. But with these “free skin cancer screenings,” I wonder if people were told that: The US Preventive Services Task Force concludes “that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of using a whole-b…

  • Aug 6 2010

    Which drug marketing is misleading this week?

    The Dow Jones Newswire carries a story that tells us: “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Novartis AG’s (NVS, NOVN.VX) use of a Facebook tool on the website for cancer drug Tasigna violated regulations by presenting misleading information about the drug. The agency also said in letters posted on its website this week that Novartis used a misleading brochure for its blood-pressure drug Exforge, and that AstraZeneca PLC (AZN, …

  • Jul 14 2006

    Consumer-driven Health Care Marketing Disguised As News

    The Star Tribune bought a UnitedHealth Group news release hook, line and sinker this week. United announced the findings of a three-year study of “consumer-driven health care plans.” It reported “that the cost to employers per member in a high-deductible plan declined 3 to 5 percent, while increasing 8 to 10 percent for others.” The paper provided no details of the group surveyed. How old were they? How well-educated w…




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