I am clueless about many things. As in the definition: “Lacking understanding or knowledge.” As in the sentence: “I have no clue!” As in the 20+ years I spent living with a research scientist and enduring mind-numbingly torturous dinner conversations on zinc and copper sediment in the Fraser River estuary.
That kind of clueless.
Oh, sure, there are some things about which I do have a clue, as is true with even the most profoundly clueless among us. For instance, with decades of experience working in public relations behind me, I know quite a bit about organizing news conferences, writing speeches, doing media interviews, or whipping up communications plans. And as a Mayo Clinic-trained survivor of a widow maker heart attack, I know a wee bit about cardiology in general, and quite a bit more about my particular obsession: women’s heart disease. As such, I do have a clue about what it’s like to live with a chronic and progressive illness.
So I can’t help but notice that the difference between me and a surprising number of other people out there seems to be that I am exquisitely aware of both what I do have a clue about, and what I have no clue whatsoever about on any given subject. So I usually try to keep my mouth shut as much as possible whenever encountering the latter.
The same cannot be said, alas, of some tech-types working in the digital health field of self-tracking – and here’s why I dare to make that observation. Continue reading →
The drug giant GlaxoSmithKline’s controversial diabetes drug Avandia (generic name rosiglitazone) works by helping diabetics balance their blood-sugar levels. But since its inception, it has been found to increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes— and even death.
As many as 100,000 heart attacks, strokes, deaths and cases of heart failure may be directly attributed to Avandia since the drug was launched in 1999, according to FDA scientist Dr. David Graham. Yet physicians are still prescribing the drug to nearly half a million people, which translates into approximately $900 million in annual sales for GSK. How has this been allowed to happen? Let’s take a look at the history of this potentially lethal but still-legal drug, courtesy ofPBS: Continue reading →
This is a page from Twitter. Each of the <140-character postings in the middle column is called a Tweet, purportedly written by American racecar driver Charlie Kimball, who “partners with Novo Nordisk to prove his high performance career is possible with diabetes”.
This is what drug companies like Novo Nordisk call a “branded Tweet” and a “Direct to Consumer” (DTC) ad. All that very fine barely readable print on the left sidebar is about Novo Nordisk’s long-acting insulin called Levemir.
The branded Tweet does not mention any benefits of Levemir because it’s a reminder ad, which is not required to include side effect information if it does not mention any benefits. Instead, this reminder ad for Levemir lets Charlie Kimball act as the shill for Novo Nordisk. Continue reading →