I must admit right upfront that this blog is all about jealousy and envy. As a new author with a small publisher I am very jealous of all the media coverage given to big companies with their expensive PR agencies. It really rubs me the wrong way when it's a pharmaceutical company pushing more drugs down the throats of Americans.
Latest case in point: Erbitux. You have to have heard about this new cancer fighter because it was reported on all major TV news networks yesterday. It was also reported on several of the local TV news programs here in Dallas. It was even in today's Dallas Morning News newspaper. Judging from all of this media coverage you'd think this was a major innovation, but you'd be wrong, it's just more of the usual.
Dr. Roy Herbst, lung cancer specialist at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston had it right when he said "It's a very small benefit. No one should try to make any more of it than that." I would add it's based on an extremely small study so it's very premature too.
There were only 1,125 people in the new study and the drug appears to only extend the average survival from 10 months with standard chemotherapy to 11 months with Erbitux and chemo. Not exactly a huge improvement but from all of the media hype you'd think this was the cure for cancer.
Like I said, I admit I'm envious of all the media coverage! I've been trying for nearly a year to get some coverage, any coverage, about complementary and alternative medicine ... with no success. My book, UnBreak Your Health, can certainly reduce pain and suffering as well as this new drug but without the money to pay a big PR firm for media attention, nobody knows about it. The hundreds of therapies in my book can help millions of people, not just the thousands impacted by the type of cancer involved with this new drug, but the media ignores it.
Welcome to the Golden Rule, pharmaceutical style.