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The woman next to me on the plane unfolded her Daily Express and saw the headline NEW ARTHRITIS JAB GIVES HOPE TO MILLIONS. She read a few paragraphs, audibly inhaled, and excitedly prodded her husband. She then folded the paper away.

She probably never got to paragraph 18, where you learn that the headline's based on mouse experiments.

Or paragraph 21, which mentions that the drug in question might increase the risk of bone cancer.

Or paragraphs 23 and 24, where reps from two charities provide the now-standard soundbites of cautious optimism.

She probably never saw the invisible word "FALSE" in the headline, between GIVES and HOPE.

F**k you, Daily Express.
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16 comments
 
The old clause in paragraph 21 trick...

I am entirely with your sentiments on this.
 
It is unfortunate that so many take - not even readers' digest versions, but sound bites as fact. We skim, glean, and believe based on so little data.
 
As a journalist, I have been dismayed for years over the state of scientific reporting, as it exists today. The story is nothing more than press-release journalism, with a couple of calls to industry PR flacks who gloss over the most salient points, like the fact that many studies that are widely reported today as the next breakthrough are poorly designed (short-term, small samples, nonexistent control groups, funding from the very people who stand to profit from the results). You can blame the pharmaceutical companies for attempting to inflate their stock prices with bogus studies, but you also have to blame a media that, for the most part, understands very little about science and has no idea when it is being lied to.
 
That is very sad, Ed. To witness such an event. But then again it is hilariously in a sense. Not to be mean and jerk about it, but people just don't read thoroughly anymore. Well for the most part anyways. Good read. Thank you.
 
Yep, the side effects of some drugs are worse than the diseases they are supposed to be helping. I just had an argument with a doctor last week. He wanted me to take an infusion of a drug that has been around less than a decade. When I got to my computer, I looked up the drug and read credible sources, such as WebMD.com. Oh, this is a great drug: it only killed 10 people since it was approved. And it could cause an incurable brain infection. No thanks. I got a script for a drug that's been around about 50 years. And, Julian, I don't think doctors want their patients to read thoroughly on the drugs they prescribe.
 
It is up to the patient to check facts and to decide whether to use or not. I'm just happy that they are working on bettering our lives.
 
i think Ed is pointing at the way things get reported in the media rather than the actual test results/findings. As ponted out, early stages yet-as with any new "cures" there are usually some "fine tuning" to do. And yes, it is up to the patients/doctors to be aware of all the facts before using/administering it.
 
When it comes to drugs, buyer beware. Chances are those who designed them will never use them.
ML Ong
 
A lot of times, we just do not read to the end and skip all the detailed fine prints. Sometimes the study results are very ambiguous that a general audience will not fully understand. Press need to be more ethical in report this.
 
Like most of these announcements ... almost always 10 years down the track, and in need of substantial funding to make it a reality. Which, of course, is often the reason for the story.
 
I have be suffering in Arthritis pain for years, but I did find way to get better with out use drugs or medicine
 
is it true ? anyone know the medicine to cure arthritis ? please if anyone knows it then tell me...because my mother is suffering form arthritis since past 20 years.... i am pharmaceutical employee but doesn't help her..
Ed Yong
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Enough. While I sympathise with your mother's condition, I have an absolutely strict policy against people giving each other medical advice in my corner of the Internet. You are not going to crowd-source the cure to arthritis. If you want medical advice, talk to your doctor.
 
Rahul there is no cure but i can feel better and many days with out pain but its no cure
 
Unfortuntately, in a consumer-driven market, things are unlikely to get better until readers start voting with their wallets. This is why I think classes in "information hygiene" should be mandatory in all schools.
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