Sigh. That unsatisfying explanation suggests the following conclusions: The DEA press office 1) is so small that it gets easily overwhelmed and cannot provide accurate information—or, at least, correct the dissemination of inaccurate information; 2) is as a result inherently unreliable. (By the way, to add insult to injury, the FDA took three press reps and a full week to reply to repeated requests for one statistic about propofol-related deaths—an inexplicable delay that also led to an agency mea culpa.)

We amended our article on the Jackson case, tagging on an editor’s note explaining the situation to our readers. But as a friend of mine likes to say, the cat was already out of the barn. The situation does offer a “teaching moment,” though. The next time I receive information from a spokesperson for a government agency, I’ll have to use those three little words: “Are you sure?”

Adam Marcus is managing editor of Anesthesiology News.