June 18, 2018 | News Release Review

Here’s a prime example of how Big Pharma issues misleading news releases to journalists

The news release implies that rivaroxaban was being compared to other anticoagulants when what was actually being compared was an early vs. late discharge strategy.

3 Star

XARELTO® (rivaroxaban) Associated with Significantly Reduced Time in Hospital and Decreased Costs Compared to Standard of Care in New Study of Patients with Low-Risk Pulmonary Embolism (PE)

June 14, 2018 | Story Review

Here’s one detail that should be included in almost all stories about cancer screening studies

This is an oversight we see often in news stories reporting on research about new cancer screening tests.

3 Star


June 14, 2018 | News Release Review

No, an asthma drug tested in mice does not bring ‘new hope’ for Alzheimer’s patients, at least not yet

Use of use of words like “breakthrough” and a phrase suggesting the drug offers “new hope” for patients detract from the cautious aspects of this release.

1 Star

Temple researchers reverse cognitive impairments in mice with dementia

June 12, 2018 | Story Review

BuzzFeed warns readers ‘a lot more work to be done’ to find out if experimental blood test can predict preterm birth

The story would have benefited from an outside expert weighing on the study and its potential ramifications and — more importantly — the potential harms of a false-positive test, which are not insignificant.

4 Star

This Blood Test Could Help Predict If A Pregnancy Is At Risk For Premature Labor

June 12, 2018 | News Release Review

Big Mango claims daily mango eating reduces systolic blood pressure in healthy women, but any fruit might do

Without a control group in the study to prove otherwise, it’s possible the consumption of two cups of any fruit, or even any food, may affect systolic blood pressure.

1 Star

Mangoes helped improve cardiovascular and gut health in women

June 8, 2018 | Story Review

In story on texting program for chemo patients, Reuters Health keeps most study details on the DL

Technology isn’t a panacea and news stories should quantify the purported benefits just as they would for drugs and other interventions.

2 Star

Automatic texting helps ease stress of chemotherapy in breast cancer patients

June 8, 2018 | News Release Review

A new antibiotic alternative for acne? This study recap sends misleading messages

This release calling on dermatologists to prescribe spironolactone as an alternative to oral antibiotics for acne treatment is missing several key pieces of information including evidence, benefits, cost and potential harms.

2 Star

Spironolactone may be an alternative to antibiotics in women's acne treatment

June 6, 2018 | Story Review

NPR (yet again) writes uncritically about ketamine for mental illness

The story makes sweeping statements, without support, favoring the use of ketamine to treat a vast array of ills.

1 Star

From Chaos To Calm: A Life Changed By Ketamine


Tips & Resources for Analyzing Health Care Claims

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Story Reviews

Our team of reviewers applies 10 standardized criteria to news stories that include claims about health care interventions. ~2,000 reviews published.

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News Release Reviews

We systematically evaluate the quality of health care-related news releases by journals, medical centers, drug/device makers, others.

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Wide-ranging exploration of issues in journalism, journal publishing, health care PR, advertising and marketing. Some opinions - publisher Gary Schwitzer's & others'.

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