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Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Message Board

  • faosto faosto Jun 19, 2014 5:41 PM Flag

    Welcome to bad journalism

    So Feuerstein writes an article that leads with this: "The prestigious MD Anderson Cancer Center issued a stern rebuke to Northwest Biotherapeutics (NWBO_) for making promotional, unjustified claims about results from an ongoing clinical trial of an experimental cancer vaccine known as DCVax-Direct.

    From that opener, you'd think Adam F got ahold of a letter or email from MD Anderson - perhaps one that was leaked to him - that was addressed to Northwest Bio and that contained the "stern rebuke," right? After all, he's reporting that the HOSPITAL issued this rebuke. Here's the headline: "Prestigious Cancer Hospital Rebukes Northwest Bio for 'Inappropriate' Data Disclosures." But wait - that doesn't seem to be the case. MD Anderson, it turns out, hasn't filed anything. They hadn't even said anything, until Mr. F called. And then only a cancer doc name Buzdar decided to shoot off his mouth to a reporter to get his name in lights, likely without clearing his statements with the chief administrator of the hospital, or the in-house legal counsel. But Feurstein decided to intentionally mislead his readers by making the strong inference that MD Anderson has a real problem with Northwest Bio, perhaps because the personal opinions of Buzdar were made as a vice president of the hospital. That makes it an institutional matter in Feuerstein's mind, because as a VP, Buzdar is an officer of the hospital and therefore represents the hospital in an official capacity. However, even officers can speak out of turn and get both themselves and their employer in deep trouble by doing so. But here's what bad journalism causes - lawyers that now take the misleading headline and run with it: "The investigation is related to an article...alleging that the MD Anderson Cancer Center “issued a stern rebuke to Northwest Bio..." Snowball effect. I would not at all be surprised if this one triggers a lawsuit by Powers. Feustein caused MD Anderson to publicly defame and discredit their sponsor!

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