There's been a great deal in the media about the potentially harmful effects of testosterone supplements, particularly when they are taken by men who have no real medical need. These effects can include elevated risk for stroke and heart attack, which have led to a number of injury lawsuits in recent months. Men eager to regain their youth and virilty – or increase it – nonetheless seek out these treatments, egged on by clever ad campaigns with snappy phrases such as “T it up!”
In the endless quest for quick and easy paths to eternal youth, many men have turned to testosterone therapy. This is not news, nor is the fact that men who decide to “T it up” face significant health risks. Recent controversy has developed over just what those health risks are; a recent study, funded by the National Institutes for Health seems to contradict earlier findings that the use of testosterone increased men’s’ risk for heart attack and stroke across the board.
You're a man who's been pretty conscientious about protecting and maintaining your own health. You eat right, exercise regularly – but you're not young anymore. Physical exertion takes more out of you, and you pay for it more afterward. You're not sleeping as well as you once did. Despite proper nutrition and exercise, you don't have as much energy these days, your muscles are getting a bit flabby and you're starting to develop a bit of a spread around the middle. Worst of all, your sex drive has dropped noticeably.
In addition to dealing with the link between testosterone and an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and prostate cancer, the “T” pushers got even more bad news this week – but only about certain patients getting testosterone replacement therapy (“TRT”).
It's a hugely profitable business. Helping guys to “T it up” has been making a few people very, very rich as an aging male population looks for quick and easy ways to preserve their youth and virility – despite compelling evidence that taking such supplements unnecessarily can greatly increase the chances of stroke and heart attack.
There are arguably some men who can benefit from TRT, or “testosterone replacement therapy” - but their numbers are far smaller than the total number of men who have heeded Big Pharma's call to “T it up.” According to data from the American Medical Association, some 13 million men are using supplemental testosterone – and as many as a quarter of them have not undergone any medical testing beforehand.
While men – encouraged by a clever marketing campaign – have been lining up around the block in order to “T it up,” the drug companies pushing this alleged “fountain of youth” have gotten more bad news this week.
In the wake of FDA investigations in to the overuse of testosterone supplements – increasingly supported by the medical profession – at least one manufacturer of these supplements is starting to feel pain as a result.
The company is Australian biotech firm Acrux, which sells a testosterone replacement drug known as Axiron. Only last year, Acrux signed a deal with U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly, allowing the latter to sell Axiron under license. Global sales of Axiron in 2013 alone generated nearly $180 million – of which Acrux is to receive a $25 million bonus on top of royalties.
It's not good news for Big Pharma, which has been making a killing (literally) with their slick ad campaign warning guys about the hazards of “Low T” and encouraging them to “T it up.” But it's high time it happened.
When a prominent reporter for a major national magazine, known for his defense of “Big Pharma” starts criticizing that same industry for its behavior, you know something is definitely wrong.