Take Testosterone and Get the “New-Man Feeling” — But at What Cost?
The New York Times calls it the “new-man feeling hoax,” a marketing ploy responsible for the boom in testosterone supplementation products since the year 2000. Today pseudo-scientific medical condition deemed “low-T” is a global trend. Over 37 countries worldwide have seen a “major and progressive increase” in testosterone use, according to a study published in the Medical Journal of Australia.
The marketing teams behind many of the low-T products have done a fantastic job. Sales of testosterone patches, gels, tablets and injections have reached around $2 billion per year in the United States — a huge sum when you consider that a little over ten years ago, in 2002, sales of testosterone products were only reportedly $324 million.
But where did this trend come from?
According to The New York Times, we can trace the low testosterone marketing all the back to Solvay Pharmaceuticals a pharmaceutical company that was in charge of marketing the testosterone supplementation product AndroGel. At the start of the 21st century, Solvay Pharmaceuticals started using the term “low T” to replace the less seductive term “andropause.”
The change in words was just marketing. Andropause is a condition that some men suffer from when they get older — it is not a condition that all men suffer. Instead, while andropause is a medical condition that some men may have, a lowering of testosterone is perfectly normal when men age. It’s just how things are — men start losing testosterone. And that’s normal, it’s not a medical condition and it certainly isn’t the definition of andropause in and of itself.
Instead, as The New York Times article reports, beginning with the marketing of AndroGel, the pharmaceutical industry widened the market for testosterone products, now including many men who may not need the products at all.
Even worse, the marketing for low testosterone products has far outpaced the research into testosterone supplementation. Meaning the whole truth about testosterone and its risks may only unveil itself in years to come, once the marketing has died down and the men who have been injured start speaking up.