Fortuitous or Planted Story on EmergingMed

Read in the WSJ this morning an interesting article on new approaches that are being taken to introduce/solicit consumers to participate in clinical trials. The problem seems to be that consumers actually have little reluctance to participate in such trials. The problem is, they just don’t know what trials are occurring that may be pertinent to their profile (needs, condition, physical attributes, etc.). This is one area where start-ups such as PatientsLikeMe are looking to leverage their communities.

In the article, the reporter goes into some depth explaining how the company, EmergingMed works to match a consumer’s profile to the enrollment criteria of a clinical trial for cancer. The company uses online and call-in technicians to provide an appropriate match based on cancer, stage, and other factors. Company has been in business since 2000 and claims to have placed over 115,000 people into clinical trials. Decent story overall and a great example of where PHRs can play an important role in the future – provided of course that the consumer chooses whether or not to opt-in and having their records used in this manner.

But what really got to me was later today I was alerted to this press release. Now was it just coincidence that the WSJ would publish a story on EmergingMed the exact same day that this press release was released, or is there something else going on?

Smells awfully fishy to me and not unlike payola for DJs (or for that matter doctors) – just wonder how much the WSJ got paid for this placement?

Really a shame as I have been a subscriber to the WSJ for years. Now under new ownership, I have seen a number of changes at the WSJ, none of which I am fond of. Hmmm, maybe time to switch to the NYT.

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