NOTE TO READERS: When this project lost substantial funding at the end of 2018, I lost the ability to continue publishing criteria-driven news story reviews and PR news release reviews - once the bread-and-butter of the site going back to 2006. The 3,200 archived reviews, while still educational, are getting old and difficult for me to technically maintain on the back end of the website. So I am announcing that I plan to remove these reviews from the site by April 1, 2021. The blog and the toolkit - two of the most popular features on the site - will remain. If you wish to peruse the reviews before they disappear, please do so by the end of March 2021. After that date you may still be able to access them via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine - https://archive.org/web/.

My weekly fix from Richard Lehman’s journal review blog

Jut a few gems from the February 3 edition:

  • “Oh great. Another phase 2 study of a pricey monoclonal antibody to address the “epidemic of osteoporosis,” i.e. a pharma-driven epidemic of overdiagnosis in older women. With a nice surrogate end point: bone mineral density, which bears an oblique relationship to fracture risk. And, in a market crowded with competing cheap agents, a placebo comparator.”
  • “The editor of the NEJM, Jeff Drazen, has sat on the fence for two years on the question of open data from interventional trials, but he now solicits your views on how long investigators should be allowed to hang on to their full datasets. Ah, but don’t send your views to him: you are advised to submit them instead to the Institute of Medicine feedback process, and await their considered verdict some time next year. Drazen obviously finds the fence quite a comfortable sitting place.”
  • On a study of implantable cardioverter defibrillators: ” it seems to me that these devices should be reserved for the tiny minority of patients who have a strong theoretical preference for being kept alive at any cost rather than running a risk of dying suddenly and painlessly.”

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