From the Editor

Dec 01, 2004
Pharmaceutical Executive
Journalists try to tell both sides of a story. That's fine when there are two groups in conflict. But how do you tell the story right when the real conflict is between the two halves of one ambivalent opinion.
Nov 01, 2004
Pharmaceutical Executive
Reeve had done something that many of us who communicate about health issues try in vain to accomplish.
Oct 01, 2004
Pharmaceutical Executive
In the real world, progress doesn’t result in fewer complaints. It leads to complaining about better things.
Sep 01, 2003
Pharmaceutical Executive
I suppose, when you get right down to it, I've gotten used to the idea that in this country we don't actually debate issues. We holler and call our political enemies names. We play elaborate games of spin control and do our damnedest to ensure that every question of policy, no matter how straightforward and practical, gets linked in the public mind with abortion rights, gun control, and a half dozen other completely intractable hot-button issues.
Aug 01, 2003
Pharmaceutical Executive
When I was a kid, I remember reading magazine articles that set out to determine the worth of the human body-not its personal value, or its ability to produce valuable labor, but just the market value of the chemicals that composed it. The figure I remember hearing was $1.98. Pocket change for the crown of creation.
Jul 01, 2003
Pharmaceutical Executive
How should drug companies and physicians interact? And if something is wrong with the relationship, who's to blame?
Jun 01, 2003
Pharmaceutical Executive
My train reading this week has been Protecting America's Health, Philip J. Hilts' enlightening history of the Food and Drug Administration. It's a book with a strong sense of how politics, people, and the uncontrollable flow of events conspire to shape institutions. It's also a good read, thanks to the author's fine eye for anecdote. Over and over, Hilts selects just the right story to capture the essence of an era in the agency's history.
May 01, 2003
Pharmaceutical Executive
In the excellent online magazine The Edge (www.edge.org), Gerd Gigerenzer, director of the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, poses a riddle about risk: Imagine that a 40-year-old woman has her first mammogram and it comes back positive. The incidence of the disease in her age group is 1 percent. The test is 90 percent accurate, and it has a false-positive rate of 9 percent. What's the probability that the woman has cancer?
Apr 01, 2003
Pharmaceutical Executive
The trick in understanding any contentious public debate is to figure out what's being left out of the discussion. What, for example, is the assumption that's so obvious that no one thinks to bring it up? More often than not, when you've located that assumption, you've found the secret core of the argument -- the part that everyone's really fighting over and no one can bear to mention.
Mar 01, 2003
Pharmaceutical Executive
No greater challenge faces any writer than the empty page. To sully that beautiful white space with mere words can seem so arrogant, so pretentious, that one's urge is to leave it alone, in perfect blankness. To paraphrase an old writer's adage, just to begin may require lowering your standards-an act salvaged later only by careful editing.
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