Is This Test Really Necessary?

The Star Tribune newspaper finally – 10 days after I submitted it – published my op-ed piece countering a feature story entitled, How To Be A Screen Queen. I give the paper credit for publishing my response, although they edited my submission and did not share with me in advance what the final published version […]


Drug Trials Should Not Be Done for Marketing Purposes Only

I’ve blogged earlier about something being smelly about the ENHANCE trial, comparing the cholesterol drug Zetia plus Zocor versus Zocor alone. This week, a commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association addresses some of the stink. Excerpts: The unusual release on January 14, 2008, in the news media and on a drug company […]

4 2/20/2008

Another case of paid-for "fake" TV health news

Dallas TV critic Ed Bark writes the latest chapter of an ever-thicker and ever-sicker story about TV stations selling “news” time to hospitals that want to look good on the air. As I’ve asked before, when is the Radio-Television News Directors Association going to step up and address this situation, which is addressed in its […]


A question about the value of online discussion free-for-alls

Ten days ago, the New York Times posted Tara Parker-Pope’s column, “No Answers for Men With Prostate Cancer.” It discussed the federal agency report that concluded that nobody can tell men with prostate cancer what type of treatment is most likely to save their lives – or that any treatment is better than doing nothing. […]


Glass half empty or full? What's the news?

It’s interesting to see the different interpretations, emphases, and headlines of different news organizations on the same story. The New York Times uses a headline, “Most Breast Cancer Sites Get It Right” over a story that begins: The Internet is filled with unreliable health information and bogus claims. But sites dedicated to breast cancer information […]


Kudos to local TV reporter for tackling health policy

A tip of the hat to KARE-11 TV (Minneapolis) reporter Rick Kupchella for the start of his ratings period series, “A Cure For Health Care?”. TV news across the country is a wasteland if you ‘re looking for serious health policy discussions. But in the past couple of years Kupchella has tackled some of the […]


Nothing but miracles, breakthroughs, rainbows & unicorns for TODAY Show

Last week the NBC Today Show presented a series it called “Mini Medical Miracles.” Were you waiting for news on cancer? Heart disease? Diabetes? Infectious diseases? Sorry. What you got was baldness, insomnia, dandruff and wrinkles. But NBC called the approaches “miracles” and “breakthroughs.” Man, that’s what we need is a good miracle for dandruff […]


Cheers & jeers for health care journalists

The Integrity in Science Watch project of the Center for Science in the Public Interest has a weekly e-newsletter that includes cheers and jeers for certain aspects of health care journalism. This week’s: * Jeer to Alicia Chang of the Washington Post for failing to mention that the authors of a study supporting the off-label […]

2 1/25/2008

Best piece of health care journalism I've seen in a long time

I’m drooling, but I shouldn’t be. John Carey of BusinessWeek has the cover story this week, entitled, “Do Cholesterol Drugs Do Any Good?” I’m not going to post an excerpt because I want everyone to read the entire article. It’s that good – and that rare. I’m drooling over it but I shouldn’t be, because […]


Ethical news director quits over hospital deal for fake TV health news

Although I said I was on a blog break until January 22 because I’m on vacation and should be out on the beach, when I read about this, I had to share it with those who may not have seen it. An Eau Claire, Wisconsin newspaper reports the following: “One year after being hired as […]


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