The Politics of Measurement: Miscalculating Public Health

Here’s an update in the value of doubt from veteran health journalist and muckraker (the word is a medal of honor) Shannon Brownlee, writing in the Washington Post:

Striking fear… serves pharmaceutical companies, which want you to worry about diseases, because people who worry are more likely to go to their doctors and ask for drugs than people who don’t. It turns out that much of what we — and our doctors — think we know about many health problems has been shaped by drugmakers and their marketers.

High anxiety happens to be good for the bottom line of some big corporations. But perhaps that money could be better spent

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