Source: Ending medical reversal
From the book review
Guest post by Vinayak K. Prasad, MD, MPH, and Adam S. Cifu, MD
For doctors, it is common to have some doubt about a new medical test, procedure or drug—even one which is widely hailed as remarkable or a game changer. It is not cynicism but a healthy skepticism towards marketing over substance. Doctors want to see the evidence that a drug actually works rather than just a good story about why it should work.
Often, however, this skepticism does not last. After a few months, still without any evidence, the doctor finds herself buying in, just a little, to the hype. OK, let me just see what everyone is talking about, she thinks. She begins recommending the drug herself. She still thinks of herself as cautious and conservative—while her colleagues use the treatment widely, she thinks it has a more narrow and defined role. Probably the pill does not work for everyone, but in a select group of people.
A few more years go by, and she gets comfortable with the once-hyped treatment. She now knows how to manage its complications; she thinks she has a good sense of who it benefits; and she considers it a part of her practice.
Then, one day, she opens one of the nation’s top medical journals and discovers that the treatment she was once skeptical of, but slowly grew to accept, simply does not work. A well-done clinical trial, probably the one which should have been done before the treatment even came to market, compared the treatment to the prior therapy, and found no benefit.”
Attractive, catchy names can compel youngsters to eat more vegetables
IMAGE: He is a professor of marketing, Cornell University.
The age-old parental struggle of convincing youngsters to eat their fruits and vegetables has some new allies: Power Punch Broccoli, X-Ray Vision Carrots — and a host of catchy names for entrees in school cafeterias. Cornell University researchers studied how a simple change, such as using attractive names, would influence elementary-aged children’s consumption of vegetables.
IMAGE: He is a professor of behavioral economics, Cornell University.
In the first study, plain old carrots were transformed into “X-ray Vision Carrots.” 147 students ranging from 8-11 years old from 5 ethnically and economically diverse schools participated in tasting the cool new foods. Lunchroom menus were the same except that carrots were added on three consecutive days. They found, for example, that by naming plain old carrots “X-ray vision carrots,” fully 66 percent of the carrots were eaten, far greater than the 32 percent eaten when labeled “Food of the Day” — and the 35 percent eaten when unnamed.
- Healthy food cues better school lunch choices (futurity.org)
After giving two examples of recent direct marketing advertising (to potential patients) for knee replacements he proceeds…
More than year ago I wrote about hip joint TV ads. At that time, Naomi Freundlich wrote:
Together, hip and knee replacement surgeries already represent the largest hospital expense for Medicare. And, according to an article in Time magazine, the money spent on these two procedures is expected to reach $65.2 billion by 2015.
There is no doubt that part of Medicare reform will involve looking at ways to reduce this cost. One approach is to move the choice of device away from vague “physician preference” and toward evidence-based criteria…
he American Joint Replacement Registry was created recently, and just this January began a pilot project collecting hip and knee replacement information from 16 representative hospitals. In a statement, the organization (made up of surgeons, executives from the device industry, payers and patient representatives) said that its “long-term goal is to capture data from 90 percent of U.S. hospitals where hip and knee arthroplasty procedures are performed, which amounts to between 5,000 and 6,000 different hospitals, in the next 5 years.”
In the end, marketing devices directly to consumers is antithetical to these other measures that are designed to promote evidence-based treatments. …
Unless insurers—both public and private—start using evidence-based decision making to set coverage for new hip implant devices, the number of younger patients undergoing more expensive procedures will likely rise—sometimes for the wrong reasons.
- What Surgeons Get Paid, and What Patients Think Surgeons Get Paid (freakonomics.com)
- Studies: Knee Replacements Double In Last Decade (boston.cbslocal.com)
- Prolific surgeon leads way as Fremont hospital rides wave in joint replacements (mercurynews.com)
- Knee Replacement | Knee Pain Treatment (earlsview.com)
Boniva continues to use Sally Field as a celebrity spokesperson for their product but as John Mack pointed out, should any prescription drugs be paying celebrities to endorse their products? Well, according to an Ace Metrix study the answer to that is “probably no.”
The Ace Metrix study found of more than 2,600 ads that celebrity ads do not perform any better than non-celebrity ads and in some case perform much worse. In their study whether or not a celebrity endorses a product was unimportant in determining whether an ad resonated with viewers. In fact compared with industry norms relatively few celebrity ads were able to earn performance marks above the industry averages…