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