Wednesday, February 09, 2011

WebMD a Pharma shill?

From the New York Times Magazine:

This is very, very rare on the medical Web, which is dominated by an enormous and powerful site whose name — oh, what the hay, it’s WebMD — has become a panicky byword among laysurfers for “hypochondria time suck.” In more whistle-blowing quarters, WebMD is synonymous with Big Pharma Shilling.

The piece is so over the top it's not worth the effort of a complete fisking here (Policy and Medicine has already done that) but I would just add a couple of comments about the article's comparison of WebMD with Mayo Clinic's consumer information site.

First, Mayo, known for its uncritical treatment of some forms or woo, may not be the best standard against which to judge consumer health information sites. Then there's the statement that Mayo is the “country's premier research hospital.” Sure, it's the country's model health care delivery system, but premier research hospital?

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