News Feature | January 30, 2014

Pharmaceutical Industry Marketing "Low T"

Source: Pharmaceutical Online

By Marcus Johnson

Pharmaceutical companies are capitalizing in the United States market by offering products that are said to counter “low T.” Low T stands for low testosterone, which is said to afflict many men at middle age. Men suffering from low T have low energy levels, low libido, and note less enjoyment in their lives.

Drug companies have aggressively marketed low T throughout the North American market, and their efforts have been largely successful. One of those drug companies is AbbVie, which makes the testosterone product AndroGel. But many observers are claiming that, in an effort to boost sales, companies like AbbVie are making claims about low T that are exaggerated and misleading. One of the prime drivers of AbbVie’s low T marketing campaign are online quizzes, which are supposed to help men figure out if they suffer from low T. But those quizzes ask leading questions that can be ambiguous, such as “do you get tired after dinner?”

Many doctors claim that exercising and proper diet just as effectively combat low T as drugs, but many middle aged men don’t exercise regularly and have additional health issues that cause lethargy. Some researchers claim that testosterone therapy could be dangerous. “The big thing is, we just don't know the long-term risk of testosterone therapy at this time," said Jacques G. Baillargeon, an epidemiologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch. "It's particularly concerning when you see the dramatic increase happening at such a large scale so quickly.”

Still, AbbVie’s spokesman claims that the drug is safe for anyone to use. “AndroGel is approved by the FDA to treat adult men with low or no testosterone (hypogonadism) who have been diagnosed by a physician, and has more than 10 years of clinical, safety, published and post-marketing data.”