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Read Original Story

Experimental heart drug beats Plavix in trials

Rating

5 Star

Experimental heart drug beats Plavix in trials

Our Review Summary

This was an engaging story reporting on news from the American Heart Association meeting about a medication for use in preventing clot related complications in individuals with coronary artery disease (at the same time that a paper detailing the study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine).   It provided a very clear description of potential benefit and harms that could result from the use of this drug.  In fact this was an outstanding example of using a summary to present the absolute effects (benefits and harms) and deserves special credit for this.

And the story was filed under deadline pressure – from the AHA meeting – and was done in less than 500 words. 

Criteria

Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?

Not Satisfactory

The story didn’t give an estimate of the cost of this medication, but it did provide an estimated cost for the medication currently used in this situation.  If the manufacturer intends to file for approval by the end of the year – as the story states – that is arguably only about 30 working days, so you can be assured they have a price in mind, and the story should have probed for it.

Does the story adequately quantify the benefits of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Satisfactory

The story did a good job of presenting the benefit associated with the use of this treatment.  In fact this was an outstanding example of using a summary to present the absolute effects (benefits and harms) and deserves special credit for this.

Does the story adequately explain/quantify the harms of the intervention?

Satisfactory

The story did a good job discussing the harms associated with the treatment.

Does the story seem to grasp the quality of the evidence?

Satisfactory

Although the story did provide some information about the nature of the study on which it reported, it should have provided more detail about whether the study was a randomized clinical trial, any limitations on the people enrolled (men, women, age, other disease conditions, etc).

But the story did a very good job of presenting the outcomes of benefit and harms. 

Does the story commit disease-mongering?

Satisfactory

The story did not engage in overt disease mongering.

Does the story use independent sources and identify conflicts of interest?

Satisfactory

The story would have been improved if it had provided more balance by including comment from someone removed from the study and perhaps more in touch with the perspective of the patient.  It did include a commentary from one expert who was not involved in the study.

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?

Satisfactory

The story was clear that it was about a potential alternate treatment for prevention of clot related complications in individuals with coronary artery disease.

Does the story establish the availability of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Satisfactory

The story stated that the company planned to file for FDA approval by the end of the year.

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?

Satisfactory

The story was clear that this is a new medication.

Does the story appear to rely solely or largely on a news release?

Satisfactory

Did not rely exclusively on the press release from the American Heart Association.

Total Score: 9 of 10 Satisfactory

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