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Questions on media coverage

2001-08-01 16:03:48+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

Last night NPR was going off on the OxyContin scare in a way that felt a lot like manufactured news, and this morning /. asks why Code Red is getting all the coverage while SirCam is spreading private documents around and getting comparatively little coverage. My bullshit detector is pegging a lot, but I haven't yet put my finger on exactly why. (Just found the Media Awareness Project page on OxyContin. Hmmm...)

[ related topics: Politics Current Events Journalism and Media ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:32:24+00 by: other_todd

Possibly because of pure confusion. I watch viruses moderately closely, but all this time what I've been thinking were Code Red-sent emails were actually Sircam-sent emails - i.e. the "Hi! How are you?" emails, which I am presently getting at the rate of some ten to fifteen a day at my personal mail and forty to fifty a day at my work mail. (That latter is down from approximately two hundred a day, by the by - there was one address which was sending the MIT bug list one message every ten minutes.)

So I figure, if I can be confused, then less-well-informed people can be too.

Thanks for the links, by the by, I found a good description of Sircam and how it works which I am going to forward to some interested parties.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:32:24+00 by: topspin

For a few months in Chatt., ER docs were switching to Oxy instead of Vicodin and ER visits by the "doc shoppers" increased substantially. The FDA has recently put a "black box" on the drug's prescribing leaflet and that will significantly reduce the use by ER docs and those treating "Jeez, Doc, this sprain is killing me and that damn Vicodin never works on me. What's that other drug... Oxy-something?" Black box warnings are like catnip for malpractice lawyers and that combined with the other bad press should limit its use.

The drug IS wonderful for chronic pain, but the local Purdue drug rep marketed the drug as an appropriate alternative to Vicodin for short term use. It is not and Purdue officially says they never marketed it as such, but I personally had some VERY sharp words with the rep in February about whether the drug was appropriate for use in an ER/"doc in the box" setting. I was not alone in being put off by the marketing of the drug.

Don't get me wrong. Oxycontin is a great drug for chronic pain and I've seen it positively impact the lives of some patients. Vicodin abuse is more common and a FAR bigger problem than Oxycontin abuse. IMO, there's LOTS of hype and media frenzy in the Oxy stories, but I feel Purdue is hardly innocent in the problems associated with the drug and I'm not sad to see them taking hits in the press.