Drug companies have been reaping huge profits from testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) drugs over the past decade. The drugs come in many forms, including injectable, transdermal patches, skin gels, and oral tablets.
Despite the fact that scientists and doctors do not know if having a low testosterone (Low T) level is harmful or if it is beneficial to raise a patient’s testosterone, TRT use has increased at an alarming rate of over 400 percent. In fact, TRT drugs were first developed in the 1970s to threat the still rare condition of hypogonadism.
What testosterone replacement therapy manufacturers did not want patients to know is there are serious side effects associated with TRT, including an increased risk for strokes and heart attacks and other heart problems. The reason they didn’t want patients to know about these risks is that it could harm sales. However, according to a recent report by Bloomberg Business Week, is seems that safety concerns are slowing sales of TRT medications after all.
As our Boston testosterone replacement therapy injury lawyers understand, much of the increase in sales over recent years is a direct result of large-scale marketing efforts by AbbVie and Eli Lilly, two of the major TRT drugmakers.
The marketing campaign created the term “Low T” and listed a series of symptoms, such as feeling tired, gaining weight, hair loss, muscle fatigue, and others that are more accurately described as characteristics of normal male aging. By creating a term that people felt comfortable talking about, more people would ask their doctors to put them on TRT.
Coming up with new names for old issues is nothing new. When drug companies realized men did not want to admit they were impotent, they came up with the term “erectile dysfunction” and then turned that into “ED.”
While many doctors were quick to accommodate their patients and proscribe TRT drugs, others were not, because the medical community did not support the treatment as being beneficial. This is because, while doctors can determine if a patient has a lower than average testosterone level, there is no consensus on what it means to have Low T or if it is even harmful. There is also no consensus on whether TRT is helpful for patients who do not suffer from hypogonadism, and the vast majority of patients do not suffer from this ailment.
When doctors were less willing to prescribe TRT, T Clinics quickly sprang up around Massachusetts and the rest of the nation to fill that void and would offer TRT drugs with little or no questions asked. This lead to record sales of TRT products.
Recently however, with more news about the dangers surfacing, AbbVie reported a five percent drop in sales in the first half of 2014. This is significant when we consider the company had seen 10 percent increases in past years and is selling around a billion dollars of TRT drug each year. Another manufacturer of TRT gel recently cut 190 jobs from its sales force.
Call the Boston Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers for a free and confidential appointment — (617) 777-7777.
Safety Concerns Slow Sales of Testosterone Therapy, November 6, 2014, Bloomberg
More Blog Entries:
FDA Announces Testosterone Meds Must Carry Broader Warning, July 7, 2014, Boston Products Liability Lawyers Blog