Suzanne Somers on Larry King Live

Suzanne Somers appeard on Larry King last night, supposedly to take on her critics in the medical establishment who, like me, are concerned about the misleading medical information contained in her best selling books. (See my recent post on suzanne and the bio-identical hormone hype.)

What could have been an informative debate ended up being a cat fight that did nothing to inform American women about the real issue. That issue is the unfettered promotion of bio identical hormones as a risk-free cure-all for everything from depression to cancer to getting old.

Neither Suzie nor her critics got to say more than a few uninterrupted words at a time, and Larry seemed unable to control his guests or to frame the debate. When he did attempt to give some context, he focused on the personal battle between two of the guests, a physician and an unlicenced practitioner of anti-aging medicine. (You could read the transcript here, but don’t waste your time.)

Wolf Utian, the head of the North American Menopause Society, and probably the most objective of the guests, was unfortunately placed at a distinct disadvantage given his consultant work for Wyeth and his society’s Big Pharma support. (One more argument for disentangling the medical profession from Big Pharma.)

The fact that Wyeth appears to be leading the charge against Suzie and her anti-aging consituents is unfortunate. Wyeth’s involvement only serves as a lightening rod that distracts from the real issues and hurts the credibility of those in the medical establishment who want to see the FDA regulate the multi-billion dollar anti-aging and compounding pharmaceutical industries. These folks love to play themselves as the little guy against Big Pharma, and as long as Wyeth stays in the fight, that’s how they get to frame it.

This is not about protecting Big Pharma or defending Prempro. It is about informing women. Wyeth needs to step out of the fray.

Category: Second Opinions

One Response to Suzanne Somers on Larry King Live

  1. I completely agree with you. While SS book should not be counted on as the medical breakthrough ever discovered, Wyeth should not be engaging in this fight. Afterall, Wyeth is not a harm-free organization. I doubt the phen-phen discussion came up…

    Some people find tremendous comfort in the alternatives, and people like Somers should have the right to present their ideas. Just so long as she doesn’t claim it is the only solution and that it cures without fail unless there is data to support it. The science isn’t bad though…

    I heard the only part of the rebroadcast last night, and only one person requested that the medical community and big pharma should help to do the double blinded studies of the alternatives before they shoot everything down…not surprisingly, this was not well respected a thought.

    I like to think that there is balance to the traditional and homeopathic. For example, my neighbor was diagnosed as stage 3b breast cancer 3 years ago. She is a chiropractor and DISPISES traditional medicine. Instead she turned to homeopathic remedies for 14 months. She did all kinds of purges and yoga – she ignored the tumor the entire time, and of course it progressed to stage 4. By the time that she embraced traditional medicine and surgery she was in a really bad place, and needed very aggressive chemo and radiation to attack the cancer.

    The end result is that she is cancer free for right now, and her doctors were AMAZED that she was able to take on the amount of chemo that she did without liver failure. As it turns out, one of the things that she did aggressively was to do liver purges with different homeopathic agents. Her doctors are now sending patients to her so that she can offer “her story” about liver cleanses to help others weather the chemo storm as well.

    There is no one answer…it’s all about balance, Grasshopper!

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