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CBS ibuprofen "Wonder Drug?" story – new entry into our HALL OF SHAME

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Question mark journalism.pngAnother entry in our “Question Mark TV Health News Hall of Shame.” Drum roll please.

Today’s CBS Early Show had a segment on a study showing a statistical association between ibuprofen use and reduced risk of Parkinson’s Disease.

Anchor Maggie Rodriquez introduced Dr. Jennifer Ashton by saying: “So I guess this is the magic pill.”

Ashton responded, “Well it appears that way.”

Well, no it doesn’t. Not yet at least.

Meantime, this graphic appeared on the screen, “The New Wonder Drug?”

Screen shot 2010-02-18 at 10.45.50 AM.png

To her credit, Ashton tried very hard throughout the rest of the segment to be cautious, saying, “Sounds good but it is an early preliminary finding. … It was really just an associative finding so it means they didn’t explain the cause and effect or the mechanism here. But they just found that those who took ibuprofen at that frequency had a lower risk. So potentially interesting.”

Nonetheless, on TV, the pictures and the graphics often overwhelm the message.

And today’s “Wonder Drug?” graphic deserves its Hall of Shame status.

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