Competition to claim a market that could be worth $100 billion a year for drugmakers alone has triggered a wave of advertising that has provoked the concern of regulators and doctors worldwide. But their tools for curbing the ads that go too far are limited — especially when it comes to social media. Regulatory systems are most interested in pharma’s claims, not necessarily those of doctors or their enthused patients.
Few drugs of this type are approved by the FDA for weight loss — they include Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy. But after shortages made that treatment harder to get, patients turned to other pharmaceuticals — like Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic and Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro — that are approved only for Type 2 diabetes. Those are often used off-label — though you wouldn’t hear that from many of their online boosters.
The drugs have shown promising clinical results, Jaisinghani and her peers emphasize. Patients can lose as much as 15% of their body weight. Novo Nordisk is sponsoring research to examine whether Wegovy causes reductions in the rate of heart attacks for patients with obesity.
The medications, though, come at a high price. Wegovy runs patients paying cash at least $1,305 a month in the Washington, D.C., area, according to a GoodRx search in late March. Insurers only sometimes cover the cost. And patients typically regain much of their lost weight after they stop taking it.
Author(s):Darius Tahir and Hannah Norman
Publication Date: 18 Apr 2023
Publication Site: KFF Health News
Narrow or prejudiced thinking is simple to write down and easy to copy and paste over and over. Descriptions such as “difficult” and “disruptive” can become hard to escape. Once so labeled, patients can experience “downstream effects,” said Dr. Hardeep Singh, an expert in misdiagnosis who works at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston. He estimates misdiagnosis affects 12 million patients a year.
Conveying bias can be as simple as a pair of quotation marks. One team of researchers found that Black patients, in particular, were quoted in their records more frequently than other patients when physicians were characterizing their symptoms or health issues. The quotation mark patterns detected by researchers could be a sign of disrespect, used to communicate irony or sarcasm to future clinical readers. Among the types of phrases the researchers spotlighted were colloquial language or statements made in Black or ethnic slang.
“Black patients may be subject to systematic bias in physicians’ perceptions of their credibility,” the authors of the paper wrote.
That’s just one study in an incoming tide focused on the variations in the language that clinicians use to describe patients of different races and genders. In many ways, the research is just catching up to what patients and doctors knew already, that discrimination can be conveyed and furthered by partial accounts.
Author(s): Darius Tahir
Publication Date: 26 Sept 2022
Publication Site: Kaiser Health News
Facebook’s efforts to police online ads for vaccine misinformation are unintentionally blocking messages from cities, health care providers and community and faith-based groups promoting Covid shots.
Paid-for messages from at least 110 groups aimed at raising awareness of how the vaccines work or where to get inoculated were flagged and sent to Facebook’s register of political messages, a POLITICO review of barred ads dating from last September shows.
Facebook acknowledged that it’s misidentified some ads and said it was restoring two — from the Centers for Disease Control and the Forsyth County, N.C. department of public health — to the ad rotation.
Author(s): DARIUS TAHIR
Publication Date: 21 February 2021
Publication Site: Politico