miércoles, 16 de enero de 2013

ANDROGEL AvvVie/ABBOTT "Drive for Five": Incorpora test de testosterona en la "ITV" de la salud (sin R de "retroceso...)

"Low T drug sales in the U.S. reached nearly $2 Billion a year 
(ending October 2012) and that the $1.37 Bn in sales of Androgel
 represent about 70% of that total. In fact, 
Androgel sales increased 19% over that period thanks no doubt 
to direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing coupled with physician marketing."

Low testosterone, or hypogonadism, is a condition which occurs when testosterone (T) levels in your body fall below normal. Millions of American men are estimated to have low testosterone, but it may be overlooked because the symptoms are subtle and similar to those caused by other medical conditions.
“…urging men to know their testosterone levels ("Drive for five") is another example of how pharmaceutical companies manipulate numbers to suggest that more of us require treatment than would otherwise be the case. How do they do this? By influencing treatment guidelines recommended to physicians by their professional societies such as the Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline for Testosterone Therapy in Adult Men with Androgen Deficiency Syndromes (find it here).

Here's a screen shot of the financial disclosure page of that guideline:
Click sobre imagen para ampliar

Six out of the seven task force members have received payments from Abbott Laboratories and other pharma companies. According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Standards for Trustworthiness of practice guidelines, none, or at most a small minority, of guideline development group members should have conflicts, including services from which a clinician derives a substantial proportion of income. In particular, says IOM, the chair and co-chair should not have conflicts. Shalender Bhasin, M.D. -- the task force chair for the Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline for Testosterone Therapy -- received consultation fees from GSK and Merck and research grants and "Other Research Support" from Abbott Laboratories, Ligand, and Merck.

This, no doubt, is a "conflict of interest" regarding when physicians should "measure up" their male patients; i.e., perform a test to measure their testosterone levels. In the recent past, another conflict of interest may have been at play because Abbott both marketed Androgel and supplied the testosterone testing services. Now that Abbott Labs and AbbVie are separate companies, there is no conflict of interest between Androgel promotion (handled by AbbVie) and testosterone testing (handled by Abbott Labs, I assume).
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