Low ‘T’: How to Sell Disease (JAMA Internal Medicine)


Are you a man suffering from grumpiness, low energy, and decreased sex drive? Maybe you have “Low T” and need prescription drugs—and there is a website to help you talk to your physician about this. It is run, incidentally, by Abbott Laboratories, the manufacturers of Androgel, the leading testosterone replacement product, write two Dartmouth physicians.

In a column published by JAMA Internal Medicine, Lisa M. Schwartz and Steven Woloshin of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice write that disease awareness campaigns such as the Low T website may have a big impact on how doctors and their patients think about “what constitutes disease and when drugs are needed.”

“These well-coordinated campaigns are more subtle than drug-specific campaigns, and they blur the line between public health or professional education and marketing,” write Schwartz and Woloshin, who are members of the steering committee for the Preventing Overdiagnosis Conference, hosted at Dartmouth Sept. 10-12, 2013.

Read the full story, published 6/3/13 by JAMA Internal Medicine.

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