Tabloid Medicine: How the Internet is Being Used to Hijack Medical Science for Fear and Profit (Hardcover)

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Can you trust your health to the Internet?

Nearly 8 million Americans search the Internet daily for medical advice on everything from bumps and bruises to cancer. But consumers should beware: this growing phenomenon of instantaneous medical advice, offered by “Google PhDs,” has a dark and dangerous side. Anyone can put seemingly authoritative medical advice on the Internet whether or not it has any scientific merit.

In this provocative and eye-opening book, prominent health policy expert and journalist Dr. Robert Goldberg reveals how the media, trial attorneys, anti-industry activists, and politicians work together to create a shadow campaign of doubt and fear about the safety of medical treatments. Dr. Goldberg reveals how the internet is used to scare the public and hide a political agenda, while preying on people’s insecurities to the ultimate detriment of both the individual and public health. Dr. Goldberg investigates the rise of the “instant expert,” and shows how this new style of medical debate allows sensationalism and celebrity status to outweigh science and knowledge.

Tabloid Medicine also uncovers how anti-pharmaceutical movements on the Internet not only drive people away from taking vaccines and medicines that have been proven to work, they also undermine medical progress across the board. Because of this dangerous trend, the number of new vaccines and drugs in development is at an all-time low, despite the wealth of medical knowledge and genetic technology available. With Dr. Goldberg’s help, consumers will know where to look for health information and how to put public safety back in the hands of medical professionals.

About the Author

Dr. Robert Goldberg is Vice President and co-founder of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, a non-profit institute dedicated to promoting the use and understanding of technologies that make health care more predictive and personalized. Previously, he was a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Public Policy Research, where he was also Director of the Institute’s Center for Medical Progress and Chairman of the Center’s 21st Century FDA Reform Task Force. In 2007, he helped create, a web-based drug safety community with close to 1 million subscribers.

Dr. Goldberg is one of the nation’s leading experts on health care policy, FDA reform, and biomedical innovation. Dr. Goldberg recently established and chairs CMPI’s Critical Path Initiative for Personalized Medicine.

Dr. Goldberg has also emerged as an important conservative commentator on the current health care reform debate. Dr. Goldberg co-hosts CMPI's popular blog,, which gets 15,000 unique page views monthly, is active on Facebook and Twitter, with around 1400 followers, and oversees several of CMPI’s websites.

Praise for Tabloid Medicine: How the Internet is Being Used to Hijack Medical Science for Fear and Profit…

“‘If it bleeds it leads,’ may sell newspapers and satisfy headline-hungry politicians, but it makes a shameful shambles of public health policy. Goldberg calls it like he sees it—clearly and bluntly. And his call for honesty in discourse and a patient-centric direction should cause us all to stand up, take notice and demand that the better angels of our nature lead the way to a more civil and focused debate over American healthcare in the 21st century.” — Peter J. Pitts, President, Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, Former FDA Associate Commissioner

Tabloid Medicine explains how we have come to rely on Jenny McCarthy for advice about vaccines and Suzanne Somers for cancer therapies. Goldberg courageously pulls back the curtain to show where the real conflicts of interest lie when it comes to getting medical and scientific information. Written with compassion and insight, full of remarkable stories and anecdotes, Tabloid Medicine is a must read for anyone interested in discovering the forces that influence decisions about our own health. An eye opener.” —Paul Offit, Chief of Division of Infectious Diseases, Children's Hospital, Philadelphia, Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania Medical School and author of AUTISM'S FALSE PROPHETS

“Across  medicine doctors, patient advocates and researchers are waking up to a   cruel  paradox -  just as biomedical science is making unprecedented strides in understanding the human body and its diseases, the development of novel therapies is slowing to a trickle. Why?  It’s simple. To get from lab to bedside there must be a viable, vibrant pharmaceutical industry, and that industry has been under assault. Goldberg shows convincingly how the Internet, combined with sloppy journalism driven by the 24-hour news cycle, irresponsible politicians looking for headlines, unscrupulous trial lawyers trolling for clients, and some opportunistic publicity seeking academics, are discrediting  the pharmaceutical industry  and  the academics who  collaborate with companies. By painting with a broad negative brush these forces are, intentionally or not, slowing innovation and putting us all at risk, especially those with serious illnesses.”  — Frederick K. Goodwin, MD,  Former Director, National Institute for Mental Health, and Director of Center on Neuroscience, Medical Progress & Society, George Washington University Medical Center

“Robert (Bob) Goldberg is amongst the most passionate and energetic health care advocates I know.  He is committed to fostering rational health care for all and his drive is enhanced by deep personal experiences.  In Tabloid Medicine he describes the real dangers of the dummying down of

medical information through poorly informed or misleading sources.  Bob Goldberg understands that health is a precious treasure and that this can be endangered when it is influenced by unreliable information, as is often conveyed on the web.  Tabloid Medicine points out the poorly recognized

dangers of open access to medical misinformation.  It is a worthwhile read that can improve your health.”  —Ralph Snyderman, MD   Chancellor Emeritus, Duke University Medical Center and CEO Proventys, Inc. 

Product Details ISBN-10: 1607147270
ISBN-13: 9781607147275
Published: Kaplan Publishing, 12/01/2010
Pages: 320
Language: English