2/12/2021

Transparency watchdog criticizes STAT’s non-disclosure on pro-Pharma op-ed

Should publications that post op-ed pieces tell us more about who wrote the op-ed and what their potential biases and conflicts of interest might be? I’m in the camp that answers a resounding YES. Till Bruckner is, too. He writes for Transparify, an organization that rates “the financial transparency of major think tanks.” He is […]

2/11/2021

Tech sites hype Apple Watch for COVID-19 prediction without providing the evidence

Milwaukee oncologist Michael Thompson, MD, wrote to me yesterday morning (February 10)  about an article – “New Study Suggests Apple Watch Heart Rate Sensor Can Predict COVID-19 Up to a Week Before a Swab Test” – promoted on Twitter by MacRumors.com. The story was about the so-called Warrior Watch Study at Mount Sinai Medical Center in […]

1/18/2021

Our 3,222 systematic reviews of journalism & PR will be gone soon

Part of our website is going away April 1. But major features of the site will remain.  Here’s the breakdown and some background. When I started publishing HealthNewsReview.org 15 years ago, the only content was news story reviews. To be more specific, we only reviewed news stories that included claims about health care interventions (treatments, […]

12/28/2020

Reflections on 2020: You can’t mask this reality

It is deeply disheartening for me to reflect on how health care information was miscommunicated so often by so many different players in 2020.  In my 47-year career, I never saw a President, his Administration, some federal health agency leaders, many elected officials and so many others distort and deceive and mislead Americans so often […]

11/23/2020

“Investigating Health & Medicine” – Global Investigative Journalism Network

Our contribution to a new global resource HealthNewsReview.org made multiple contributions to an impressive new online resource, “Investigating Health and Medicine,” by Serena Tinari and Catherine Riva via the Global Investigative Journalism Network. The preface to the guide states: This guide deals extensively with how to independently assess research claims and frequently cites the work of HealthNewsReview.org, […]

11/9/2020

Transparency by drug companies, scrutiny by journalists, vital in vaccine news

Pfizer’s chairman and CEO proclaimed in a Pfizer company news release: “Today is a great day for science and humanity.” In that PR news release – but only in that format – Pfizer announced early results of “a vaccine efficacy rate above 90%, at 7 days after the second dose.” That’s about all we know […]

11/9/2020

Post-election health report: a time for healing

Today’s email newsletter: A time for healing One headline has stayed with me:  ‘Science was on the ballot’ – and public health lost. In an article published the morning after the election, STAT news reported:  “Results…underscore just how many Americans agree with a president who has called the nation’s top scientists “idiots,” openly mocked mask-wearing, and […]

9/24/2020

How COVID-19 drug/vaccine decisions might be based on little evidence

Everyday we are flooded with a tsunami of news about the race to test COVID-19 vaccines in thousands – tens of thousands – of people. When you hear about such large trials of 30,000 or more, you might be surprised by the following. Today I pause to reflect on the very low level of evidence […]

9/7/2020

Perfect storm of politics, PR, polluted messages to the public

That was the title of a seminar presentation I made for the Georgetown University Health and the Public Interest program last week. It was delivered via Zoom for the graduate students in the program and for a broader Zoom audience beyond the University. The co-director of the program, Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD, invited me.  She also […]

9/4/2020

It has come to this: ignore vaccines-in-animals drug industry PR & news

Earlier this week, a powerful opinion piece, “It Has Come To This:  Ignore the CDC,”  co-authored by former National Institutes of Health director Harold Varmus,  was published in the New York Times. That’s on the science side. On the PR and journalism side, it has come to this:  ignore a lot of the news you […]

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