Daily Rounds: Sinister 'Seeding' Studies; Smartphone Drug Ads; Dyslexia For Speech; Gout Is Back

Useless Pharmaceutical Studies, Real Harm - "In an age of for-profit clinical research, this is the new face of scandal. Pharmaceutical companies promote their drugs with pseudo-studies that have little if any scientific merit, and patients naïvely sign up, unaware of the ways in which they are being used. Nobody really knows how often companies conduct such trials, but they appear with alarming regularity in pharmaceutical marketing documents." (Note: CommonHealth wrote about author Carl Elliott's book here.) (

The Epocrates App Provides Drug Information, and Drug Ads - "Epocrates has won over nearly half of the nation’s doctors for its free smartphone apps that lets them look up information on drug dosing, interactions and insurance coverage while seeing a patient. But like so much else on the Web, “free” comes with a price: doctors must wade through marketing messages on Epocrates that try to sway their choices of which drugs to prescribe." (

People with dyslexia have a hard time recognizing voices, researchers say - The Boston Globe "Most people think of dyslexia as a reading problem, a learning disability that causes letters to get jumbled up. But research by MIT scientists suggests that an even more basic cognitive difference sets apart people with dyslexia: They have difficulty recognizing voices speaking their own language. The finding, published yesterday in the journal Science, adds to the evidence that what underlies the reading difficulties in dyslexia may be fundamental problems in how the brain processes language, distinguishing words and speech sounds." (

From Kings To The Average Joe: Gout Makes A Comeback : Shots - NPR "Today gout seems to be the disease of the average middle-aged American who's pudgy, consuming too much meat and drinking too much alcohol — not unlike what the royals used to do. Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine looked at federal health surveys to compare rates of gout in 1988-1994 to 2007-2008 and found the disease had increased 44 percent over those two decades. They suspect it has a lot to do with the obesity epidemic and related health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Their study was published online this week in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism." (

This program aired on July 29, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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