medical flip-flops, oncology, cost, evidence

Doctors have been advocating evidence-based medicine for a few decades, but a surprising amount of medical practice is based on tradition. How can you sort out the value of evidence-based medicine from eminence-based medicine? (That is, what the most influential experts recommend, based on their own experience or beliefs.)

The Fate of Medical Mythbusters:

Collecting medical evidence may uncover practices that are not optimal. Are medical mythbusters hailed as heroes, or are they more often pilloried like Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis? (He advocated doctors washing their hands between autopsies and patients.)

Is Evidence Overwhelmed by Conflicts of Interest?

Prominent physicians are often paid handsomely by drug or device makers on the hope that they will prove to be opinion leaders. Such conflicts of interest may go undetected for years, as they did with Dr. José Baselga. Until Sept. 13, 2018, he was chief medical officer of Memorial Sloan Kettering. He stepped down when his supervisors learned that he had not disclosed receiving millions of dollars from health care companies. His case was uncovered by ProPublica and The New York Times, but most doctors don’t get that kind of scrutiny. How can we learn about their conflicts of interest? Why do they matter?

The High Cost of Cancer Treatments:

The development of new cancer treatments such as CAR-T is exciting, but at the prices being charged few patients will be able to benefit. Can our medical system survive such sky-high costs? Find out how patients can make the best decisions on their treatments.

This Week’s Guest:

Vinay Prasad, MD, MPH, is a practicing hematologist oncologist and internal medicine physician. He is an associate professor of medicine and public health at Oregon Health and Science University. Dr. Prasad with Adam Cifu is author of Ending Medical Reversal: Improving Outcomes, Saving Lives. His website is

Listen to the Podcast:

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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Air Date:September 22, 2018

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  1. Diane

    At last! Someone willing to gather evidence & speak the truths that I have “believed” for many years, as an oncology nurse, now retired. Thank you Dr.Prasad & People’s Pharmacy.

  2. SJ

    Every one of us has do do smart thinking when it comes to our health and well being. We should be teaching our children and grandchildren the importance of making good choices when it comes to food and using any chemicals. Some drugs are good and even necessary but no one should go to the doctor “blind” or to take a prescribed drug just because a doctor wants you to take it. We all have to ask why and what other options we have.
    Americans are great at donating money for research only to be over charged for taking a drug they helped to discover. Very sad.

  3. Mary

    I have watched family members desperately try treatment for cancer, only to die anyway. Their last days on earth were not good ones despite treatment.

  4. Julie

    How can I download the podcast?


    Thank you for your inquiry. There are several ways you can access our podcasts. You will need either a computer or a smart phone (iPhone, Samsung, etc.) or a mobile device (Apple iPad, iPod, Android tablet, etc.) with podcast listening software.

    The easiest software to find and use for a computer is iTunes (available for both Apple and PC for free). Once you have downloaded and installed the iTunes software (available here: you can then find our podcast by using this link:

    Click the “View in iTunes” link to be taken to our show in iTunes and from there you can download the specific episode you are interested. You can also “subscribe” to our podcast so all future shows are automatically downloaded for you.

    Alternately there are a number of podcast apps available for smartphones or mobile devices: Downcast (, Overcast (, Pocket Casts (, etc. Use the search function in any of these programs using the keywords “People’s Pharmacy” or “Graedon” and you should be able to find and download our show that way, too.

    Finally, if you go to our website and navigate to our radio show section ( you will see a list of all of our recent shows. Click the link for the show you are interested and there will be an option to listen to the show with the built in web-player at the top of the page. When you click play, you’ll be able to listen to our show through your web browser.

    Please keep in mind that the podcast of recent shows are not available until the Monday following the original radio broadcast date.

    • Mary

      As a nurse of 50 years, I totally agree. I have seen more people die in agony than those who have been “saved” by toxic cancer treatments and who then develop another cancer as a result of these toxic treatments, not to even mention the cost!

  5. Louise

    So appreciate all the evidenced-based information I’ve gotten over the years from your program, books and emails – thank you.

    One minor point – your title today should read Whom Do You Believe? or even better, Which Do You Believe?

  6. Jan

    I just listened to the show on conflict of interest and new cancer medications. I wish my family could or would listen to this information. Dad just went along with everything his doctors told him, and I believe it has done more harm than good. I appreciate what you are doing with your show. I think it is very important for people to get information to make informed decisions. Thank you for getting the information out there. Show 1135.

  7. Paul CG

    I agree. There should be correction loops to all systems only if they are true corrections.

  8. Lorrie G
    Hales Corners, WI 53130

    I am so impressed with your program, Joe and Terry. I just saw a picture of your whole “crew.” So let me extend my appreciation to all of you!

    Now, down to business: I just heard the last part of your broadcast this morning — 9/22/18.
    You were helping to promote fundraising for our local Public Radio Station 98.7FM, and I would like to get the recipe book about the tasty vegetables you mentioned – green beans and garlic, etc. What is the name of that recipe book and how can I purchase a copy of it, please?

    Thank you,

    Lorrie G

  9. kate
    vestal ny

    Important work. Courageous doc.

  10. C

    Was listening to radio. Conventional soybean and corn farmers worried. Not getting good prices for their crops to keep in business.
    Then a few weeks later the AHA comes out with a statement about how BAD coconut oil is for you and to eat more soy and corn oil….huh!!?
    That told me who was really looking out for our health and best interests.
    With a shorter life span Americans are really being sucked into doing things that harm themselves based on how much money can be made off of it..
    I just realized that the American people CAN change this. By their buying power. Refuse to buy what will be harmful. Re, drugs, food or devices.
    I was reading an article about how eliminating sugar from your diet was not good.
    Are americana starting to get Smart and eat smart? Has the sugar industry worried?
    Too bad, so sad when they bemoan the fact that that they are losing g money. They sure did not care about the harm their products were causing American men, women and children..

    • Anne

      I’m with you! There’s something wrong with our food/diets, and it’s obvious by the high number of obese people. I grew up in the 60s, and it was fairly uncommon to see anyone who was morbidly obese. Today, it seems to be half the population.

  11. Joy

    I would never go with Chemo again. It has almost rendered me bedridden.

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