Testosterone Ads as Propaganda for Fake Disease

In the last decade, marketing of testosterone replacement drugs has increased to astounding proportions. At this same time, sales of testosterone replacement therapy drugs have risen over 400 percent. These numbers certainly imply a causal relationship. What has not been demonstrated is any increase in the frequency of a very rare medical condition known as hypogonadism, which is the FDA approved reason for doctors to administer testosterone to patients.

Thumbnail image for money-trading-4-1415242-m.jpgThe author of a recent article in Forbes believes these increased sales and marketing efforts is a result of a practice by the drug companies he called “disease-mongering.” The author looks how the slew of commercials during the news or live sporting events tells us testosterone hormone can help with a low libido, increase energy levels to where they were during our youth, and show healthy middle-aged men in the commercials. This trend, he says should be banned outright by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Essentially, drug companies and their respective marketing departments are trying to convince men that they go through what is equivalent to female menopause, and taking testosterone replacement drugs can help alleviate the symptoms.

Two professors at major Universities have recently discussed this male menopause claim and have said drug companies have essentially taken normal male aging signs and made them a medical condition, and then said, if you take our medication, it will reverse the problem. They claim this widely successful marketing effort is nothing more than disease mongering. That criticism came around the same time FDA strengthened labeling and warning requirements for testosterone drugs. FDA says these drugs are only approved for treatment of hypogonadism and can increase the risk of heart and respiratory problems.
Meanwhile, the two professors are arguing the FDA’s actions are not strong enough and are advocating FDA should work with U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to ban the uses of what they are calling fake health terms like male menopause, Low T, and adropause.

As our Boston testosterone injury lawyers can explain, the FTC is the federal agency responsible for monitoring companies, and keep them from making unsupported claims about the effectiveness of products. While normally, they deal with dietary supplements and other over-the-counter home remedy products, they could, with the FDA, regulate deceptive marketing by drug companies.

In addition to the health risks, and problems with marketing directly to consumers, there is also a focus on whether testosterone replacement therapy really provides any measurable benefits to healthy males experiencing the normal symptoms of getting older. There have been very few efficacy studies, which is part of the problem, so there is no definite answer to this question. However, the few studies that have been done do not seem to indicate taking testosterone replacement therapy drugs benefits patients in any way, absent those who actually suffer from hypogonadism.

It should also be noted, most men who go to a Low T clinic after watching a commercial for testosterone hormone benefits will be given testosterone hormone without ever being administered a blood test to see if he actually has hypogonadism, and chances are he doesn’t.

Call the Boston Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers for a free and confidential appointment — (617) 777-7777.

Additional Resources:
Why All Those Testosterone Ads Constitute Disease Mongering , March 24, 2015, Forbes
More Blog Entries:
FDA Announces Testosterone Meds Must Carry Broader Warning, July 7, 2014, Boston Products Liability Lawyers Blog

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