10/20/2007

Exuberance over Exubera comes to crashing halt

No Monday morning quarterbacking here. Just the usual reminder to journalists and consumers that – while in the opera, it ain’t over till the fat lady sings – in health care and medical research, exuberance over new ideas such as new drugs maybe ought to be restrained until long-term evidence is in. Pfizer’s announcement this […]

10/16/2007

Annual checkups overrated

The Chicago Tribune today has a good story about how annual medical checkups are overrated. As the story explains: That’s because there is scant scientific evidence showing that yearly checkups help prevent disease, death or disability for adults with no symptoms. Many tests and procedures performed during the visits have questionable value, experts say. When […]

10/10/2007

Bitter SCHIP recipe

On this blog I have been remiss not to weigh in on the recent and ongoing debate over children’s health insurance and the SCHIP or State Children’s Health Insurance Program. Not surprisingly, some of the wittiest commentary has come from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Their segments within the past week should not be missed. […]

9/23/2007

Reader Response to "Too Brief To Matter" Discussion

We received some interesting feedback in response to our last Publisher’s Note, “Too Brief To Matter – Part Two: The benefits/harms of briefs & digests,” and wanted to share some of it with you. We are planning a revision to our site that would provide a better place to host such discussions online in the […]

9/20/2007

The corruption of health journalism awards

Australian journalism Melissa Sweet, in a piece entitled, “The ties that bind: how big pharma buys a good press,” in the Australian online magazine Crikey (subscription required but free trial available), writes: “The media is often quick to get on its high horse about the pharmaceutical industry’s wining and dining of doctors, but is much […]

9/19/2007

Health news that is too brief to matter

On our HealthNewsReview.org website, we’ve posted a new Publisher’s Note to foster discussion about what’s missing in so many of those “health news briefs” or “health watch” digests or “medical minutes.” In the 17 months that we’ve been reviewing stories from about 60 major U.S. news organizations, we have given our top five-star score to […]

9/18/2007

Another news story about the limitations of some studies

Yesterday we profiled a Wall Street Journal column about the statistical flaws in some studies. Today we point out a Los Angeles Times column that gives readers a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of epidemiologic studies. Excerpts: “(Critics say that) far too many of these epidemiological studies — in which the habits and […]

9/16/2007

20/20 lacks vision on Stossel health care special

Just watched John Stossel’s special, “Whose Body Is It Anyway? Sick in America,” on the ABC News 20/20 program. Wow. Simplistic. Superficial. Shallow. Superfluous. Just one example: he used laser eye surgery and cosmetic surgery as two examples of how the competitive marketplace can bring health care costs under control. No discussion of quality. No […]

9/14/2007

Too Brief To Matter – Part Two: The Benefits/Harms of Briefs and Digests

We want to re-open a discussion we first started earlier this year in a note called “Too Brief To Matter” about the value of health news briefs, digests, “health headline” sections and the like. In the 17 months that we’ve been reviewing stories from about 60 major U.S. news organizations, we have given our top […]

9/10/2007

Reporters not asking right questions on health care reform

Johns Hopkins University president William Brody, in a speech at the National Press Club on Friday, said journalists are not asking presidential candidates the right questions about health care reform. “If you’re only reporting cost and coverage issues, you‘re missing a big part of the story,â€? Brody said. Brody said that almost no one — […]

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