Newsweek Attacks Oprah Winfrey and BioIdentical Hormones by Jeffrey Dach MD
Original Article Here.
Why should Newsweek attack Oprah Winfrey?
This is an outright falsehood. Compounded bioidentical hormones are highly regulated at all levels. Just walk into a pharmacy and ask the pharmacist in charge about the regulations. There are literally hundreds of them. They are regulated up the Wazoo from start to finish at county, state and federal levels. And yes, compounded hormones ARE FDA approved, and the same hormones, estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone are found at the corner drugstore (examples are estrace, vivelle, prometrium etc.). Just think about this: all prescription medication in the US must be FDA approved in order to be able to sell to the public.
3) Newsweek says: "And despite Somers' claim that her non-FDA-approved bioidenticals are "natural" and safer, they are actually synthetic, just like conventional hormones and FDA-approved bioidenticals from pharmacies—and there are no conclusive clinical studies showing they are less risky. "
This is outright deceitful and misleading. Number one, hormone raw materials are all FDA approved. Otherwise, they could not even be marketed in the US. '
4) Newsweek says:"Unless a woman has significant discomfort from hot flashes—and most women don't—there is little reason to prescribe them."
Newsweek is wrong again. Hot flashes are only one of many symptoms of estrogen deficiency, Other symptoms include vaginal dryness, sweats, difficulty sleeping, cognitive dysfunction, menopausal arthritis etc. These are all valid symptoms and good reasons for prescribing bioidentical hormones.
"Inside Newsweek Magazine, 10 of the 31 pages of ads are for pharma ads, 5 of them for Wyeth, including an inside-cover triple-page ad. Naturally, a failing magazine is going to want to receive more ad dollars by running more articles pleasing to sponsors. It seems practical and makes sense, though unethical, dishonest, defamatory and morally reprehensible all at the same time."
5000 Lawsuits for Synthetic Hormones
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Newsweek decides to go the other way--withholding information seems the point. Reading this Newsweek article, you'd think there was really no difference between the synthetic hormones provided by drug companies and the bio-identical hormones that many doctors prescribe, but which are not produced by major drug companies. "They are actually synthetic, just like conventional hormones." Hardly. Yes, they are both "man-made," but the bioidenticals are created to have the same molecular structure as our own hormones. Synthetic are not, it's a one size fits all approach that leaves many women with uncomfortable side effects. The bioidentical process is quite arduous, and requires lots of testing, but each woman gets a regimen much more suited to her body.
Pat Wingert. Coming to Newsweek after a nine-year journalism career in Chicago, Wingert had worked as a reporter for The Chicago Tribune from 1985 to 1986 and The Chicago Sun-Times from 1977 to 1984. While working at the Sun-Times, she worked as legman to Chicago's legendary Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist, Mike Royko. A Chicago native, Wingert received a B.S. in journalism from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. She resides in Washington D.C. with her husband Brian Kelly, the executive editor of U.S. News magazine, and their three children.
"More likely, the explanation is that 10 of the 31 pages of ads are for pharma, 5 of them for Wyeth, including an inside-cover triple-page ad. Naturally, a failing magazine is going to want to receive more ad dollars by running more articles pleasing to sponsors. It seems practical and makes sense, though unethical, dishonest, defamatory and morally reprehensible all at the same time. ... Perhaps Newsweek can also run an article on the 5000 lawsuits Wyeth is facing for the damages attributed to its own, admittedly unnatural, FDA-approved version. If they did, it would help their case of proving Ms. Somers’ alleged belief wrong, that “the media” is “in the pocket of the pharmaceutical industry.”...What matters is if Newsweek’s articles fit its agenda. In a magazine filled with pharma ads, accused in 2001 by five consumer groups of breaching journalism ethics by working with the lobby group PhRMA, having a special advertising relationship with pharmaceutical corporations and allowing its publication to be used by pharma lobbyists for public relations purposes, Newsweek’s agenda is no secret. One consumer advocate described Newsweek as “an infomercial masquerading as medical news” and “an example of corruption in journalism. Newsweek has surrendered its professional credentials by shamelessly engaging in disease mongering aimed at increasing profits for the mental health industry.”
CONSUMER GROUPS CRITICIZE NEWSWEEK FOR TRANSGRESSING ETHICAL BOUNDS BY WORKING WITH THE PHARMACEUTICAL DRUG LOBBY
October 2, 2001 Contact: Dave Lemmon, Director of Communications
Drug Lobby's Exclusive Sponsorship of Newsweek's Special Health Edition and
MARCH 16, 2009 The Truth About Hormone Therapy Wall Street Journal
Jeffrey Dach MD