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Brett Emison
Brett Emison
Attorney • (800) 397-4910

Industry Study Finds Low-T Therapy Does Not Improve Sexual Function or General Health

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A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association examined the effect of long-term Testosterone Replacement Therapy on plaque build up in arteries.  The study was funded by the multi-billion dollar drug makers that sell Low-T (one author works for a drug company; one works for Eli Lilly, which makes the testosterone drug Axiron; a third author gets paid by drug companies and has patents pending on Low-T related products).

Since this study was paid for by the companies that make Low-T drugs, you can image what it found – no increased risk for arterial plaque in men taking Low-T drugs over a three year period.  Again, this is not surprising.  There have been several studies finding an increased risk in clotting events (heart attack, stroke, DVT, PE, etc.) in men taking TRT drugs.  There have been other studies that have not found the risk.

An analysis in 2013 found that results of various studies on Low-T were based on the source of the funding.  Studies paid for by Low-T drug makers found (predictably) no link between TRT and blood clotting injuries.  Studies funded from independent sources did find a link.

But what else was significant in this new JAMA study paid for by the TRT industry?  A few important highlights:

  • Study did not look at the link between Low-T drugs and the link to clotting injuries like strokes and heart attacks.
  • Study did not look at Low-T affect in men with normal testosterone levels
  • Study did find there was no improvement in overall sexual function, partner intimacy, and health-related quality of life (the very conditions for which Low-T drugs are frequently marketed)

Earlier Studies Find Link TRT to Heart Attack, Stroke, and Blood Clotting Injuries

An independent study in 2014 found that Low-T drugs nearly tripled the risk of heart attack in some patients.  The study – by William D. Finkle and others – looked at more than 55,000 men and examined the rate of heart attack within 90 days of starting testosterone replacement therapy.  In men age 65 and older, the risk of heart attack more than doubled.  Younger men (less than 65) who had a history of heart disease had their risk of heart attack triple.

Finkle said his study was prompted by a 2010 report in the New England Journal of Medicine.  The 2010 study involved a clinical trial of testosterone gel in men over 65 years old that was halted after an increase in heart attacks and other heart issues in the group of participants using the testosterone replacement gel.

FDA Requires Stronger Warning

In March 2105, the FDA required a stronger warning about Low-T drugs and the risk of heart attack and stroke.  According to the FDA:

The benefit and safety of these medications have not been established for the treatment of low testosterone levels due to aging, even if a man’s symptoms seem related to low testosterone. We are requiring that the manufacturers of all approved prescription testosterone products change their labeling to clarify the approved uses of these medications. We are also requiring these manufacturers to add information to the labeling about a possible increased risk of heart attacks and strokes in patients taking testosterone.

Aggressive Off-Label Promotion

Toilet Paper

Testosterone gel sales have grown dramatically due to aggressive, off-label promotion of the drug.  Who knows how many men or their spouses or significant others have visited the marketing and propaganda site: IsItLowT.com?  Tens of thousands?  Hundreds of thousands?  Millions?

The site is funded by a pharmaceutical company, AbbVie (which was recently spun off from Abbott Laboratories).  AbbVie manufacturers the most popular testosterone replacement therapy drug, AndroGel, with more than a billion dollars in sales in a year.

And the site provides a handy little quiz so you can self-diagnose and ask your doctor about this “disease.”  But it turns out that this handy little quiz was created in 20 minutes while the author,Dr. John E. Morley, was in the bathroom (yes, in the bathroom for 20 minutes) and authoredscribbled the quiz on toilet paper, which he gave to his secretary to transcribe (editor’s note: Ewwww).

For this, Dr. Morley was paid $40,000 by the Dutch drug company that commissioned the test.

And the quiz was designed so that you would fail.  Just take a look.

  1. Do you have a decrease in libido (sex drive)?
  2. Do you have a lack of energy?
  3. Do you have a decrease in strength and/or endurance?
  4. Have you lost height?
  5. Have you noticed a decrease in your enjoyment of life?
  6. Are you sad and/or grumpy?
  7. Are your erections less strong?
  8. Have you noticed a recent deterioration in your ability to play sports?
  9. Are you falling asleep after dinner?
  10. Has there been a recent deterioration in your work performance?

Answering “yes” to as few as one of these questions will “qualify” you as a candidate for having “Low T”.

Book Explores TRT Link to Heart Attack and Stroke

Testosterone Replacement Therapy - What You Need To KnowOur office has published a new book, Testosterone therapy’s link to heart attack, stroke, and death: what you need to know.  The iBook is available for free through iTunes and is the first to be published on the dangers of testosterone replacement gel therapy.

Our new book – available as a free download through Apple’s iBooks – takes a closer look at the development of testosterone replacement gels and the serious side effects that have been documented in recent studies.  Download the book today for more information about testosterone gel therapy.

There have been a number of lawsuits filed involving men who have experienced heart attack or other heart-related events after taking AndroGel.  Hundreds of additional lawsuits are expected across the country.  The attorneys at Langdon & Emison are currently investigating and evaluating these claims.  Contact us for a free evaluation of your case.

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© Copyright 2015 Brett A. Emison

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