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Generic Drug Could Save Many Trauma Patients


4 Star

Generic Drug Could Save Many Trauma Patients

Our Review Summary

While it earns credit for presenting the benefits in absolute terms and for including the number-needed-treat to save a life, this was the only story of the three that failed to include an independent perspective on the results. A good effort considering the space limitations, but a few more caveats would have been appreciated.    


Why This Matters

Even in a brief such as this, there needs to space for an independent take on the issue.


Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?


TXA costs $10 per treatment, according to the story. Although this cost is characterized as low, the story could have noted that the price may be prohibitively expensive in many poor countries. 

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


The story focuses on mortality difference between the TXA and placebo groups and presents the results in absolute terms. It helpfully notes that TXA would need to be adminstered to 66 patients to prevent one death.

Although it passes along the claim that TXA might save "tens of thousands of people" without questioning it, the story doesn’t hype the assertion quite as vigorously as the competing coverage.  

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


The story mentioned there was no increase in deaths due to blood clots in the TXA group. We understand it’s a blog brief – so this is sufficient.

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


The story provides the bare essentials noting the outcomes in absolute numbers and in number needed to treat.  Unfortunately, several important facts were not reported including the number of sites involved, the number of countries and other essential attributes of the study. Nonetheless, we’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.

Does the story commit disease-mongering?


No disease-mongering in this story.

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

Not Satisfactory

It’s difficult to find room for an independent perspective in a 245-word brief, and this story didn’t find the room.

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?

Not Satisfactory

Numerous other pro-coagulatory agents are used to help control bleeding in trauma patients. The story didn’t mention any of them.  

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


The story states that TXA is a 25-year-old medicine that is approved in the U.S. to prevent bleeding in hemophiliacs who have teeth pulled.

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?


The story mentions that TXA is already used to control bleeding during surgery and doesn’t portray the treatment as new.

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

Not Applicable

While there’s no evidence that this story lifted anything directly from a news release, we can’t be sure to what extent this story may have relied on one. We’ll call it not applicable.

Total Score: 7 of 9 Satisfactory


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