Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Scratch my back and I'll scratch yours

An editorial published today in PLOS medicine brought to light something many of us (read "science literate") already know. "GOOD news", especially medical "GOOD news", come with a price tag.

Medical good news are fabulous because most are concerned about health-related issues. To no surprise, when a medical breakthrough is released we listen and watch, almost captive. When these news are "sponsored" without our own knowledge this becomes a problem. Why? Simply because the public is generally uninformed (or misinformed) about their own bodies and the alternatives presented through these "GOOD news" seem to be the only ones because the sponsor, usually a big pharma company, pays for a powerful release in prime time TV. These, folks, are not news...they are advertisement!

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