Approximately two minutes into the CNN report below, it was revealed by investigative journalist Elizabeth Cohen that the author of the now infamous 'scientific study' of 50 men who reported persistent side-effects from the hair loss drug Propecia has received thousands of dollars in financial compensation from class action lawsuit attorneys.
Here is the transcript of the CNN report:July 13th, 2012 CNN
July 13th, 2012 CNN [**12:49:29 PM**] If you're sitting here with thinning hair thinking about popping a pill, a popular drug taken by millions of men to fight baldness could be causing major sexual side effects even after stopping taking the pill. Our senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, there is a new study that is out now. What does this reveal? Let me step back and give some context to the new study. Years ago merck which makes the drug did a study. Years ago there was a study, where they took 900 men and put them on propecia and about 900 men and put them on placebo and they followed them to see if they had sexual side effects among other things. So here's what they found. So they found that the men taking Propecia 3.8% developed sexual problems like erectile dysfunction, and the men taking the placebo, only 2.1% developed sexual problems. We see both those numbers are tiny, but the difference between the two groups is statistically significant. Now we'll get to the current study. The current study looked at a 54 men on propecia who were having sexual problems. And most of them were on a website for men on propecia with sexual dysfunction. 54, very small number, and what the study found was that about 90% of them were having sexual problems even after they stopped taking the drug. So even after they discontinued, some of them apparently for years. So what does the drugmaker say about this study? The drugmakers say there's no proof that their drug is causing sexual problems that last even after men stopped taking the drug. Here's their statement. A causal relationship between the use of propecia and continued sexual dysfunction after the treatment has been discontinued has not been established. That the lack of cause and effect for sure has not been established. What about who's actually funding the study? Because you always want to get to the bottom of that, whether or not there's any kind of bias. Right, we always want to look at money. The big study, the merck study that showed that there was a low incidence of sexual problems that was funded by Merck. This study that looks at the men with sexual problems and showed that it lasted a long time the doctor who did that study has taken money from law firms that are suing merck because of sexual problems, so he has taken money from lawyers who are suing merck. He says he's taken less than ten thousand dollars. So bottom line should men be concern about this drug? Here's what the FDA has to say, the FDA is very clear. They say that men have reported certain sexual side effects that have lasted after they stopped taking the drug. Let's take a look at these, men have reported getting erectile dysfunction, libido changes, ejaculation disorders, orgasm disorders that lasted after stopped taking the drug. Might this drug give you sexual problems? Do you want to take that possible risk so that you can have more hair on your head? Maybe. Maybe not. We can't answer that question one hundred percent. That's basically the question that you have to ask yourself, you can go to your doctor and say is there another drug I can take? Is there something else I can do, otherwise just live with thinning hair that's another option.
Q: What is the incidence of sexual dysfunction in the General Population?
A: "Based on the few available community studies, it appears that sexual dysfunctions are highly prevalent in both sexes [in the general population], ranging from 10% to 52% of men and 25% to 63% of women. Data from the Massachusetts Male Aging Study (MMAS) showed that 34.8% of men aged 40 to 70 years had moderate to complete erectile dysfunction, which was strongly related to age, health status, and emotional function." --Edward O. Laumann, PhD. JAMA. 1999; 281(6):537-544
Treatment options for those with thinning hair or hair loss include topical medications (prescription 82M minoxidil or over-the-counter), low level laser therapy, nutritional supplementation and hair transplantation. Contact your American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery (ABHRS) certified Hair Restoration Physician to discuss your hair loss treatment options. Many thanks to Consumer Advocate, best-selling author, www.thebaldtruth.com talk show host and American Hair Loss Association 501(c)3 founder, Spencer Kobren, for bringing this to the public's attention. Sincerely, Dr. Alan Bauman