New York Times asks "Question Authority" about Avandia
Call the Doctor
By DAVID CARR
Published: June 11, 2007
When the news broke last month that significant questions had been raised about an increase in the risk of a heart attack for users of Avandia, I followed the reports with a bit more avidity than most.
Dr. Peter Rost, an industry whistle-blower and the author of the Question Authority blog (peterrost.blogspot.com/), said there was extreme value in consumers using the Web as a health resource, even if it is noisy and all over the road.
“Yes, you have to sort it out and you have to evaluate, but all of the information used to belong to the moneyed and the powerful,” he said. “Those barriers don’t exist on the Web, so people have access to all sorts of information about Avandia.”
Perhaps that’s true, after some time spent researching the whole issue, I decided to just back away from the mouse. Data is not knowledge, and information is not insight; consumers still have to make their own judgments about the agendas that are at work.
When it comes to meta-analysis on breaking issues, the Web seems better-suited to Paris Hilton than patient safety.
This Wednesday, I will see my endocrinologist. We will chat for a few minutes about Avandia and no doubt he’ll smile when I entertain him with all that I have learned on the Web. Then after he tells me what he thinks, I will follow my doctor’s orders.
Full article here.