More broadly, the story contained none of the restrained context provided by the Times. Read and compare.
Stories about cancer – perhaps especially melanoma because of its treatment challenges – should balance promise with realistic context. This story fell short in comparison with the competing New York Times story.
Not a word about costs – difficult to comprehend given the estimates the New York Times provided of $120,000 per course of treatment for one and “at least tens of thousands” per year for another.
Is this not an issue worthy of a line?
Adequate explanation of the benefits reported in both studies.
Not a single word about potential harms, as opposed to a New York Times story, which described – variously for the two drugs:
Again, is this not worthy of at least a line?
Adequate explanation of the evidence. Interestingly, both this story and the one from Reuters provided information from the ASCO meetings and neglected to tell readers that both studies have been published in a peer reviewed journal. The NY Times provided both sources.
No disease-mongering of melanoma.
Two independent experts were quoted.
Adequate job reporting the comparisons seen in the trials of the two drugs.
The story makes it clear that vemurafenib is experimental and Yervoy is commercially available. Unfortunately, the story includes a prediction from the ASCO President and others that , “…vemurafenib will almost certainly get FDA approval this year.” While this may occur, it is not certain. And a little shoe leather journalism would easily find someone who would remind readers that FDA approval is not a fait accompli. Because of this, we judge this unsatisfactory.
The relative novelty of the two drugs was established.
It’s clear the story did not rely on a news release.