If you’re a Track Your Plaque Member or viewer, you may know that we have resisted outside commercial involvement. We do not run advertising on the site, we do not allow drug companies to post ads, we do not covertly sponsor supplements. We do this to main the unbiased content of the site.
We’ve seen too many sites be tempted by the money offered by a drug company only to see content gradually drift towards providing nothing more than cleverly concealed drug advertising. I personally find this deceptive and disgusting. Ads are ads and everyone knows it. But when you subvert content, secretly driven by a commercial agenda, that I find abhorrent.
That said, however, I do wonder if we need the participation of some outside commercial interests to help our members. In other words, many (over half) of the questions and conversations we have with people is about what supplement to take, or what medication to take. While we cannot offer direct medical advice online (nor should we) because of legal and ethical restrictions, I wonder if could facilitate access to products.
Many people struggle, for instance, with trusted sources for l-arginine, vitamin D, fish oil. Other people struggle with finding a heart scan center because of the changing landscape of the CT scanning industry. Could we somehow provide a clear-cut segment of the website that clearly demarcates what is commercial and non-Track Your Plaque-originated, yet at least provides a starting place for more info?
Ideally, we would have personally tried and investigated everything there is out there applicable to the program. But that’s simply impossible at this stage.
I feel strongly that we will never run conventional ads on the site. Nor will we ever permit any outside commercial interest to dictate what and how we say something. The internet world is full of places like that. Look at WebMD. I find the site embarassing in the degree of commercial bias there. We will NEVER sell out like that, regardless of the temptation. People with heart disease are all conducting a war with the commercial forces working to profit from them–hospitals, cardiologists, drug companies, medical device companies (yes, even they advertise to the public, e.g., implantable defibrillators–no kidding). Genuine, honest, unbiased information is sorely needed and not from some kook who either knows nothing about real people with real disease, or has a hidden agenda like selling you chelation.
I’d welcome any feedback either through this Blog or through the firstname.lastname@example.org.
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