11/22/2017

Not so fast: News headlines claiming two therapies were proven ‘equally effective’ for treating opioid use disorder

Last week’s big health news was a study on two medication-assisted treatments for opioid use disorder. Published in The Lancet, the study compared the monthly injectable treatment Vivitrol (naltrexone) to a dissolvable oral strip called Suboxone (buprenorphine). Depending on which news headline you came across, your main takeaway about the study would likely either be […]

3 11/21/2017

Blood pressure, dietary salt, and genes: What happens when the dots don’t connect?

Blood pressure, dietary salt, and how genes influence human biology are among the most frequently reported health-related topics in the media. In the last couple of weeks the new and lower blood pressure guidelines have been widely publicized and critically analyzed; salt is always in the news; and there is no shortage of stories about […]

1 11/17/2017

5-Star Friday salute to Uwe Reinhardt – a vital health policy voice lost

When you see an outpouring of loving obituaries, as we saw this week after the death of Princeton health care economist Uwe Reinhardt, you know we have lost someone special. A German by birth, Reinhardt consistently forced Americans to look in the mirror and answer his questions, “What kind of people do you want to […]

4 11/16/2017

Why we should care that many editors of top medical journals get healthcare industry payments

About half the editors at the most prestigious medical journals in the U.S. receive payments from the pharmaceutical or medical device industries. But only 30 percent of these journals make it clear to readers what their policies are regarding such conflicts of interest. Those are the findings of a Canadian study published last month in […]

1 11/15/2017

Journalists shouldn’t take their audiences down the path of unnecessary medical tests

It’s a television journalism staple: the first-person experience. These pieces are conceived with good intentions, but they can lead viewers to misguided, costly, and potentially dangerous thinking. A journalist at WCCO, Minneapolis’s CBS affiliate, recently put himself through a battery of tests ostensibly to test his heart health. The set up focused on the reporter’s […]

11/14/2017

News release writers love our pre-publication review service. Help us spread the word

Earlier this year we began inviting public relations staff to submit their draft health care news releases to us for critiquing prior to publication. Since then we’ve offered guidance to a small number of academic medical centers, trade groups, PR firms and medical associations who sought out our free assistance. We’ve provided detailed suggestions to […]

11/13/2017

Podcast: Victor Montori – Mayo Clinic MD calls for patient revolution

Having a conversation with Victor Montori you can almost feel your hair blow back. If he were introduced at a medical conference you’d probably get something like this: Mayo Clinic diabetes physician, author of roughly 600 publications, world-class expert in shared decision-making and evidence-based medicine, director of Mayo’s Knowledge and Evaluation Research Unit, and an […]

11/10/2017

5-Star Friday: Standing up and taking notice

Many of the journalists we know take pride in two things. First, that their writing might help the public to think and talk about issues that have the potential to improve lives. Second, that they stand up, take notice, and find stories where others may not. Several of the 5-star stories we selected below are […]

2 11/9/2017

A pharma sales army aims to increase ‘fibroid awareness’; women’s health experts brace for collateral damage

Women’s health advocates have long battled for wider recognition of the problems caused by fibroids, noncancerous growths on the uterus that can cause bloating, discomfort and heavy menstrual bleeding. Getting women to talk about their fibroids has been viewed as a way to break the stigma around the condition and encourage more research and better […]

8 11/8/2017

Alcohol and cancer: What does a ‘500% increase’ in risk really mean?

[Editor’s note: This post has been updated. Scroll to the bottom to read the addendum.] Last night, NBC Nightly News ran a story about the cancer risks related to alcohol consumption. But instead of communicating those risks in a way that would educate and inform, NBC’s coverage was an example of misinformation and fear-mongering. Consider […]

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