Tabloid Medicine: How the Internet Is Being Used to Hijack Medical Science for Fear and Profit

Robert Goldberg, M.D. Kaplan, (S&S, dist.), $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-60714-727-5
Goldberg offers a 21st-century spin on Mark Twain's warning: "Beware of health books. You may die of a misprint." The late humorist's advice especially applies to the Internet, asserts Goldberg, a former fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute and cofounder of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest. Assigning blame in part to Americans who insist on getting their information "fast, hassle-free, and on their own terms," Goldberg argues that biased Web sources influence patients' responses to drugs like the arthritis pain reliever Vioxx and cholesterol-lowering statin Crestor. In the case of the diabetes drug Avandia, an article written in 2007 by Dr. Steven Nissan criticizing the FDA for its slow response to risks of the drug drove down sales and continues to unfairly dog and "dominate the online environment." He also criticizes the "never-ending vaccine debate" about the disproven link between the MMR shot and autism in children—specifically, the group SafeMinds, which continues to promote the debunked theory. Online alternative-medicine advocates and bloggers aside, there's no arguing Goldberg's fundamental message: better to research drugs, diseases, and medical care the old-fashioned way—honest discussion with a doctor. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/08/2010
Release date: 12/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-60714-816-6
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-60714-728-2
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