A government committee discovered that, among a sample of nearly a quarter million men, as many as 21% had been given a prescription for testosterone despite not being tested for low-T.
In other words, physicians simply asked patients how they were feeling, and if the answer was anything like “I don’t seem to have the same energy I had at 17…” they got the drugs.
A FEW FACTS
In 2013, over 2 million people were prescribed T-therapy.
In 2014 the number doubled, and Androgel alone reaped $1.4 billion in sales.
In 2014 testosterone products, in general, reached $2.1 billion in sales.
Last year, 6.5 million prescriptions were written for or testosterone products. You can do the math yourself.
Late last year, a joint FDA advisory committee examined the therapy and its potential association with cardiovascular therapy, among other burgeoning issues and abuses.
The findings were shocking. In addition to not being tested for Low-T, 57% of men on T-therapy were also taking either one or several other cardiovascular medications, such as anticoagulants, antihypertensives, anti-platelet therapies, statins, and nitrates. How these medicines work together in the body is not known.
After the preliminary findings were in the FDA voted 20-to-1 to revise the labels of T drugs, including AbbVie’s AndroGel and Lilly’s Axiron to make it abundantly clear that the products should only be prescribed to men who seriously need it.
According to Bloomberg, this is having an effect on sales. For example, IMS Health’s sales alone have plummeted 6% in the first half of 2014 in the same period from the year before.
The National Institutes of Health is sponsoring a short trial comparing men on T with those on a placebo. These results should be quite interesting, as they’ll include information about sexual function and bone health.
I’ll keep you posted on this.
TV AND RADIO BOMBARDMENT
Keep these things in mind the next time you hear a TV or radio ad telling you to “talk to your doctor about low-T.” Even more importantly, pay attention when Physicians or “health” Clinics themselves run ads claiming that testosterone replacement for all aging men is the wave of the future, alongside healthy eating, exercise and a month a year in Aspen to reduce stress.
What these companies [and individuals] fail to mention in these ads is that lower testosterone levels is a natural part of aging, not a medical condition, and that there are very real, life-threatening side effects to these products.
According to Drug Recall Attorney’s Blog, millions of men bought the marketing gimmick, asking their doctors for prescriptions for testosterone products. Michael Seaburn was one of them. He started using Testim and AndroGel topical testosterone treatments. Within two years after starting these treatments, Seaburn had two heart attacks, suffering immense pain and anguish, loss of life’s pleasures, and significant economic losses.
Seaburn, like millions of other men, was not told testosterone treatments had strong links to heart complications, strokes and death. He claims companies like AbbVie purposefully encouraged men to view the normal signs of aging as a “condition,” that could be treated with products like AndroGel.
According to the article, “Not only were these companies investing in mass marketing, they were also paying for continuing medical education courses (CME), which doctors are required to take. Pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers support CME programs regularly, to the chagrin of Congress and public advocates. A series of investigations between 2007 and 2009 revealed that these CME courses often acted as aggressive promotions of off-label drug uses (such as promoting testosterone therapy for men without diagnosed hypogonadism). Today, about one-quarter of CME income ($676 million) is from drug/device companies, who create course curriculum and hire faculty.
A review by Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today looked at 75 drug industry-funded testosterone therapy CME courses. Researchers found that a majority of the courses’ faculty were already on drug company payroll for speaking, consulting, and advising roles. These testosterone courses are another part of the effort to turn the natural aging process into a medical condition. Eli Lily alone spent $1.8 million to fund more than 25 testosterone-related CME courses between 2011 and 2014.
CME courses are supposed to be free of bias, but drug companies clearly use the platform as an opportunity to market products directly to doctors for off-label uses. The FDA has stridently stated testosterone products are not to be used in men with low testosterone due to aging, but doctors are prescribing them exactly for this use based largely on CME material. CME courses not only encourage off-label prescribing, but also downplay or completely conceal drug risks.”
At this writing, thousands of lawsuits have been filed against testosterone products companies, and the numbers continue to climb at an alarming rate.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Testosterone therapy can contribute to…
1] Sleep apnea — a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts
2] Acne or other skin reactions
3] Noncancerous growth of the prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia) and growth of existing prostate cancer
4] Enlarged breasts
5] Limitations in sperm production and testicle shrinkage
6] Increased risk of a blood clot forming in a deep vein (deep vein thrombosis), which could break loose, travel through your bloodstream and lodge in your lungs, blocking blood flow (pulmonary embolism)
7] Increased risk of heart disease.
At my health club, it is considered perfectly normal – even enlightened – to take pharmaceutical grade testosterone, either in pill form, gels or injectables.
As one man said to me “I lost belly fat without having to workout all day. I put on more lean mass just getting out of bed. I have a six pack I never knew I had. And my sex drive has become so strong that I now have a hooker on speed dial.”
If you’re living in the moment, the side-effects of drug use pale in comparison to the short term results.
If this is your mindset, there’s a dealer on every street corner in Houston.
Remember that Testosterone use for many is like drug addiction.
In fact, many drug addicts, alcoholics and men with related compulsive personality disorders simply swap one addiction for another.
All are in complete denial about side effects until they hit rock bottom.
Before that happens – and it will happen – any good news that can siphoned from the flood of bad is used to justify their addictions.
See, it really doesn’t matter what the addiction is [i.e., drugs, sex, gambling, alcohol…etc].
What matters is how long you can keeping shuffling the deck before you run out of cards.