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Contest Entries

Useless Medicine

Entrants: Robert Langreth

Affiliation: Forbes

General Interest Magazines below 1 million circ.

Year: 2009

Place: Second Place

Provide a brief synopsis of the story or stories, including any significant findings.

Many health care stories throw out the figure that 30 percent of all medical spending is wasted. But they almost never delve into specifics. Exactly which operations, medical devices, and drugs are overused or ineffective? Robert Langreth shows how a huge percentage of the spending on knee surgery, stents, CT scans, and schizophrenia drugs is wasteful and potentially harmful.

Judges' comments: Finally, facts behind the stat that 30 percent of all medical spending is wasted. Forbes Magazine's "Useless Medicine" is particularly timely during the ongoing health care bill debate, and lays out in clear detail, the tests, drugs, and procedures that do little for patients and lots for the health care industry.

Read "Useless Medicine."

See the archived story and the contest questionnaire about how this story was written.