Kate Johnson's Medical Musings

Life through the eyes of a medical journalist

New Evidence for Blood Clots With the Pill. Will Canadian Ob/Gyn Group Revise its Guidelines on Drospirenone?

April 26, 2011

By Kate Johnson

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) has a chance to redeem itself and make good on its controversial new contraceptive guidelines.

As I wrote in my last post, the guidelines are tainted with undisclosed conflicts of interest, calling their recommendations into question.

Now, two new studies in the British Medical Journal have made the guidelines redundant – presenting the SOGC with a rare opportunity to correct its mistakes (BMJ 2011;340:d2151 and BMJ 2011;340:d2139). Continue reading

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April 27, 2011 Posted by | Contraception, Health policy, medical ethics, Medical Writing, Pharmaceutical industry, Women's Health | , , , , | 1 Comment

Can you Trust the Latest Canadian Contraceptive Guidelines? “The Bayer Facts” are Revealing in Their Omission.

April 4, 2011

By Kate Johnson

If it wasn’t for “the Bayer facts”, the new contraceptive guidelines from the Canadian Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (SOGC) would be rather underwhelming.

But stripped down they are alarmingly revealing: “an egregious example of the extreme,” according to Dr. Allan Sniderman, a McGill University cardiology professor who has called for widespread medical guideline reform. Continue reading

April 4, 2011 Posted by | health journalism, medical ethics, Medical Writing, Pharmaceutical industry, Uncategorized, Women's Health | , , , , | 3 Comments

Canadian Contraceptive Guidelines Shun Disclosure

By Kate Johnson

As published April 4, 2011 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal – full story

April 4, 2011 Posted by | health journalism, medical ethics, Medical Writing, Pharmaceutical industry, Uncategorized, Women's Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Big Pharma and the Media: Reporters should work with Medical Journals for More Accountability

December 10, 2009

By Kate Johnson

The media is more often criticized than praised when it comes to reporting health and medical stories, but one recent example highlights an important role for the media in the field of medicine.

The pharmaceutical giant Roche is facing pressure from the medical community about accountability  – and the media is playing a valuable role.

This week, the British Medical Journal published a string of articles, an editorial, and an account of a media/medical journal investigation that “cast doubt not only on the effectiveness and safety of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) but on the system by which drugs are evaluated, regulated, and promoted,” writes Fiona Godlee, editor in chief of the BMJ. Continue reading

December 10, 2009 Posted by | medical ethics, Medical Writing | , , | 3 Comments