A group of physicians with financial links to companies that manufacture and sell controversial Low-T testosterone medications is attempting to downplay the potentially fatal side effects that can be caused by the medications.
The group is complaining that the medical research recently published from findings by experts at such respected institutions as the National Cancer Institute, the Veterans’ Administration and UCLA is flawed.
The research studies found that FDA-approved medications most frequently used by men in an attempt to treat the symptoms of low testosterone such as AndroGel, Androderm, Axirom, Bio-T-Gel, Delatestry, Depo-Testosterone, Fortesta, Striant, Testim and Testopel could seriously increase the risk of some men suffering heart attacks, strokes and other life-threatening heart problems.
As the Wall Street Journal reported:
“The latest conflagration is a debate over the veracity of a widely cited study, which was published last November and found that treatments used to boost testosterone levels increased the risk of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular events in men who had a history of heart disease.
“The study, which appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, was drawn from the records of more than 8,700 men with low testosterone in the Veterans Administration health system between 2005 and 2011. It was one of two studies that prompted the FDA this past January to begin an investigation into concerns over cardiovascular risks of several widely touted testosterone therapies.
“But the JAMA study has recently been challenged in a series of letters published in the medical journal that criticized the study design and interpretation. And now, a few of these critics have created an ad hoc coalition they call the Androgen Study Group – named for the hormones that affect the male reproductive system – and say they have garnered support from dozens of researchers to seek a retraction.”
However, as the Journal report pointed out, several of the academics and physicians who have signed the letters have financial ties or relationships with drug makers, including those that sell these therapies.
The JAMA co-authors, Michael Ho, a cardiologist at the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System, says that he and his colleagues “stand firmly” by the study results and the Journal of the American Medical Association has rejected calls for a retraction.