Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wall Street Journal Hearts Cholesterol-Drug Ads

More Health Coverage is Nice, But Ads Shouldn't Be So Intertwined With Editorial

It's great The Wall Street Journal is bulking up its health and fitness coverage in the Tuesday edition of the Personal Journal section.
After all, why not provide more of the news its aging readers can use before they age out. Case in point is a column called Heart Beat by Ron Winslow about all things related to the ticker, that is, the one that doesn't spew out stock prices (remember them?).
The column focused on why it's not enough to simply lower the LDL, or bad, cholesterol; that the HDL/good cholesterol and triglycerides also play a big role and why exercise and diet need to act in concert with statins.
It's a subject near and dear to my, um, heart, given that I pop a Zocor every day.
All well and good content-wise. However, I was a little troubled that the article was flanked by an ad for a new drug called Trilipix, which is designed to be taken with a statin to, you guessed it, raise good cholesterol and lower triglycerides.
Nowhere does the column mention Trilipix. However, the ad should have been placed elsewhere in the section. It's one thing to live in the neighborhood. It's another to be the nosy next-door neighbor.
Even if there's no quid pro quo, it does the Journal no good to leave the impression that there could have been.

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