This is a very good story reporting on the results from a recent trial examining the impact of rimonabant, a cannibinoid receptor inhibitor, on obesity and cardioavscular disease. The story did a good job reporting on both the benefits of the drug in improving weight and cholesterol as well as the harms of increased numbers of people reporting anxiety and depression. The story included several quotes from physicians such as the drug is "unlikely ever to be approved" or that it was "nothing but bad news and "I think we need to get back to what really works – exercise and diet." The story was well written and would enable a reader to appreciate the complexity of assessing the impact of a medication. It was clear, balanced and succinct – the rimonabant portion of the story running less than 600 words.
The story did not mention the costs for this medication.
The story provided information about the magnitude of benefit derived from the use of this drug.
The story provided clear information about the harms (anxiety, depression and insomnia) associated with the medication studied.
The story did a fairly complete job presenting the results of the study it was reporting on. It mentioned that there was recent buzz generated from a presentation at a meeting but that the study itself had been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The story did not engage in overt disease mongering.
Differing views from a number of clinicians on how the outcomes from the study should/would be interpreted were included in this story.
The story included a quote from a cardiologist, "I think we need to get back to what really works – exercise and diet." There was no other mention of treatments besides the highlighted class of medications (cannabinoid receptor inhibitors). We’ll give the story the benefit of the doubt on this criterion.
The story was clear that rimonabant is available in Europe (and therefore available online) but has not been approved for use in the US.
The story accurately conveyed the status of this medication – i.e. it is available in Europe but has not been approved by the FDA.
Did not appear to rely exclusively on a press release.