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Tabloid Medicine: How the Internet is Being Used to Hijack Medical Science for Fear and Profit Hardcover – December 14, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Goldberg offers a 21st-century spin on Mark Twain's warning: "Beware of health books. You may die of a misprint." The late humorist's advice especially applies to the Internet, asserts Goldberg, a former fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute and cofounder of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest. Assigning blame in part to Americans who insist on getting their information "fast, hassle-free, and on their own terms," Goldberg argues that biased Web sources influence patients' responses to drugs like the arthritis pain reliever Vioxx and cholesterol-lowering statin Crestor. In the case of the diabetes drug Avandia, an article written in 2007 by Dr. Steven Nissan criticizing the FDA for its slow response to risks of the drug drove down sales and continues to unfairly dog and "dominate the online environment." He also criticizes the "never-ending vaccine debate" about the disproven link between the MMR shot and autism in children--specifically, the group SafeMinds, which continues to promote the debunked theory. Online alternative-medicine advocates and bloggers aside, there's no arguing Goldberg's fundamental message: better to research drugs, diseases, and medical care the old-fashioned way--honest discussion with a doctor. (Jan.)
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From the Author

I enjoyed writing this book and did so with my friends and family members in mind.   So I want to use this space to express my thanks for their love and support.  Also,  I want to thank Caroline Patton, my research assistant and my literary agent Joelle DelBourgo for their indispensable role in making this book a reality.  Any mistakes or typos are my responsibility!

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Kaplan Publishing; 1 edition (December 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607147270
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607147275
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,779,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert M. Goldberg, PhD,

Robert Goldberg is Vice President and co-founder of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest (, a non-profit organization that advocates for consumer access to medical innovation, better health information and personalized healthcare. Over the past 20 years Dr. Goldberg has dedicated himself to improving the health of Americans and promoting medical innovation. He was involved in the first study demonstrating that restrictions on access to drugs actually drove up medical spending and compromised health. That research was instrumental in forcing health plans to open up drug formularies. He helped The Children's Health Fund establish its Childhood Asthma Initiative in the South Bronx to improve the management of chronic asthma for thousands of medically underserved children and families. His article on how environmental laws would deprive millions of Americans generic asthma inhalers led the government to drop it's effort to eliminate the insignificant amount of CFC from such products. Dr. Goldberg also participated in a class action lawsuit that forced health plans to provide health parity for eating disorders.

Prior to founding CMPI, Goldberg was Director of the Manhattan Institute's Center for Medical Progress and Chairman of its 21st Century FDA Task Force that examined the impact of the FDA's Critical Path Initiative on drug development and personalized medicine. He runs CMPI's Odyssey Initiative which brings together researchers, policymakers and physicians from around the world to find ways to speed up medical progress. His academic research focuses on the value of personalized medicine and medical innovation to longevity, economic growth and Social Security. At CMPI he's supported the launch of, a website that helps two million people monitor the safety of their medicines and, a website where seniors and other consumers can compare drug prices and lower prescription drug costs. He writes for The Weekly Standard, The American Spectator and The New York Post.

Dr. Goldberg received his PhD in Politics from Brandeis University in 1984 and is a devoted Yankee fan and father of two children, Sara 26 and Zach, 23.

You can learn more about Tabloid Medicine at

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Book Fanatic TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is an extremely important and incredibly well argued book. I am most certainly not a fan of Big Pharmaceuticals or the medical establishment. However, I am a fan of science and progress. Even if you don't agree with Goldberg, you have to take his arguments seriously. Your life may literally be at stake. I couldn't put it down. Highly recommended.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By B. J Robbins on August 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
1. "The internet will make smart people smarter and dumb people dumber."

2. "People believe what they want to believe."

When the internet was born in 1995, it was known as the "Information Superhighway." And it was. No more going to the library to do a report. The apogee of the computer revolution, the internet turned our homes into libraries.
My favorite search engine back then was "InfoSeek". "Google" was small. Now, it is the only search engine.

As it grew and grew, Google became more and more the "Misinformation StupidHighway". It became a democratization of all kinds of people: artists, writers, students, doctors, salesmen.

This book is about how medicine has been affected by the internet users Dr. Goldberg calls "instant experts". The best example is Jenny McCarthy. A college dropout, she admits that she went to the "University of Google". She is a pseudocelebrity, and gets to go on TV and radio shows talking about how vaccines caused autism in her son. There is never a doctor or physician to rebut her assertions. Jenny used Google to find the info she wanted to fit her preconceived notions. She believes what she wants to believe, despite the medical evidence that autism is most likely NOT caused by vaccines.

The Vioxx scandal/tragedy is handled at length, as is the Autism "debate". Herd immunity, and how parents and unvaccinated children can bring harm to othes children, and the question of community health vs. personal choice is considered.

This is an excellent book that raises a lot of questions
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful By SFrank on January 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Goldberg's exposure of the widespread dissemination of misleading medical advice and the influence "Google Scholars" have on our health is not only timely but necessary. He doesn't fail, like so many others, to ask the hard questions that should be asked of irresponsible individuals and celebrities in the media who crusade for a cause without being equipped with the right information. He goes on to remind us that there are those who are turning to the internet seeking out real medical advice and are, in reality, being scared to death.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Kraushar on December 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Goldberg exposes the medical misinformation on the Internet that feeds a sensationalist news media while starving the use and development of medications that could help ill people. He provides solutions that could save your money or your life.
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