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  1. #11
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    Listen, at some point you are going to be able to have to connect-the-dots. Why don't you try calling/writing Merck and tell them you developed side effects that have not subsided within 1 year or quitting the drug. You (should) be shocked at the callous indifference with which they respond with some response written by a lawyer at their firm saying Merck was approved by the FDA and they do not believe there is a causal relationship at hand.
    what kind of response are you expecting? merck makes almost a hundred different products, and they probably get complaints constantly.. they probably have a standard response to each complaint for each product. do you expect they reply each time with an individual thoughtful and supportive response? thats not how companies work... Im sort of surprised you dont know that. of course they are going to have a lawyer write or look over anything they send out to the public. If they dont do that and say something that could be confused with admitting that they are guilty, it could easily be used against them in court! companies go to great lenghts to protect themselves. that doesnt mean they are guilty or covering anything up, it means they are doing what companys do!


    Despite the fact they have been monitoring internet websites for years
    what proof do you have of this?


    despite the fact they have received hundreds of post-marketing reports, despite the fact these side effects showed up in their very own PLESS trials and they didn't want to know anything more about it since it would only cost them lost sales and fines. They will not express an ounce of sympathy or a slight eagerness to look into any potential risk of their patented drug. There are hundreds of men who have reported this was their experience in dealing with the company.
    you are still convinced that PLESS study showed these side effects??? Well I wont argue it anymore, but ill just leave it at this, taken directly from that study

    "Sexual AEs resolved in approximately one half of patients after discontinuing treatment with either finasteride or placebo, consistent with the natural history of sexual dysfunction in this patient population"

    i said it before, but your interpretation of the study is the exact opposite of the scientists and professionals that conducted it. They said the results are not at all significant and consistent with what they would find in the patient population, but you say otherwise. personally, I would prefer to side with the professionals that conducted the study over an anonymous guy who posts on a forum.


    We do not know how unlikely they are - but it seems they run from somewhere around 1 in a 100 to 1 in a 1,000. These are rare for an individual - but the pharmaceutical manufacturer should and would know about outcomes like this but depending on the culture of the firm - may choose to turn a blind eye as they have in this case.
    how could you possibly think its even more common than 1 in 1,000? What do you base that on? the fda found only 59 reported cases where side effects didnt go away in 3 months... lets even multiply that by 10! And lets say a million people in the US took propecia since it was released, even though its probably way more than that.. even then, its still 1 in 1,700 and thats being generous.


    Merck may end up paying massively in financial and reputational costs. But then again - you have to realize that for Vioxx they literally spend about $1-2 BILLION dollars in legal fees to fight the true accusations that Vioxx called family members. Being one of the largest corporations in the world - they have such immense power they are able to completely squash the weak and downtrodden victims of their products.
    i dont know why you keep bringing vioxx up, because its a completely different drug. vioxx was very clearly found to cause severe problems in less than 5 years, and was pulled off the market. finasteride has been on the market for 20 years, and has been studied immensely both by merck funded studies and independent ones, and not even a single documented case of persisting side effects has ever been found...

  2. #12
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    When it comes to PFS it seems that blood levels don't really matter. A lot of these gents dealing with it from what I am aware of have normal levels of t and dht. If the problem was this simplistic we could just give someone suffering from this problem suraphysiological doses of t and the problem would be solved. Spencer should get Dr. Irwin Goldstein to talk about finasteride, he probabaly won't though.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by seattle30 View Post
    When it comes to PFS it seems that blood levels don't really matter. A lot of these gents dealing with it from what I am aware of have normal levels of t and dht. If the problem was this simplistic we could just give someone suffering from this problem suraphysiological doses of t and the problem would be solved. Spencer should get Dr. Irwin Goldstein to talk about finasteride, he probabaly won't though.
    spencer talked with Dr Irwig which was a good discussion.. I think he also wanted to talk to Dr Crisler, but of course he wasnt able to control his temper or conduct himself at all professionally.. I would love to hear spencer chatting with crisler, its too bad it will probably never happen.

    im sure spencer would be open to talking with dr irwin. He wouldnt turn anyone down based on their viewpoint, just as long as they can be professional and can show some medical basis

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_charger View Post
    what kind of response are you expecting? merck makes almost a hundred different products, and they probably get complaints constantly.. they probably have a standard response to each complaint for each product. do you expect they reply each time with an individual thoughtful and supportive response? thats not how companies work... Im sort of surprised you dont know that. of course they are going to have a lawyer write or look over anything they send out to the public. If they dont do that and say something that could be confused with admitting that they are guilty, it could easily be used against them in court! companies go to great lenghts to protect themselves. that doesnt mean they are guilty or covering anything up, it means they are doing what companys do!
    If the are aware of the side effects of a drug and they choose to deny the causal relationship, that by definition is a cover up. I find it disconcerting that you accept this as a standard business practice. Merck is not alone in this type of behavior, but by no means is it considering ethical, especially when their interest is to avoid financial loss.

    you are still convinced that PLESS study showed these side effects??? Well I wont argue it anymore, but ill just leave it at this
    I apologize for being blunt, but you have proven that you have less than a high school knowledge of statistics. Merck conducted the study so their conclusions will contain significant spin, but the data show that there is a causal relationship beyond a shadow of a doubt.

    how could you possibly think its even more common than 1 in 1,000? What do you base that on? the fda found only 59 reported cases where side effects didnt go away in 3 months... lets even multiply that by 10! And lets say a million people in the US took propecia since it was released, even though its probably way more than that.. even then, its still 1 in 1,700 and thats being generous.
    The FDA database cannot be used to determine the frequency of an event happening in a population. There are many reasons for this, including but not limited to: 1. It is logistically very difficult to actually enter in your information into the Medwatch dabase which deters patients 2. Many patients do not know about Medwatch that are facing side effects 3. This was over a narrow time and did not include recent reports. Once the FDA investigation became public, many many men submitted their reports which were excluded from the count but justified the FDA's action.

    i dont know why you keep bringing vioxx up, because its a completely different drug. vioxx was very clearly found to cause severe problems in less than 5 years, and was pulled off the market. finasteride has been on the market for 20 years.
    VIOXX was an additional product that was approved around the same time as Propecia, subject to the same corporate culture and values. If Merck was willing to conceal risks at that same time that killed nearly one hundred thousand people, why would they act any differently towards Propecia. This is not proof in itself, but gives context as to how much trust one should put in Merck's values, research, and social responsibility.

  5. #15
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    If the are aware of the side effects of a drug and they choose to deny the causal relationship, that by definition is a cover up. I find it disconcerting that you accept this as a standard business practice. Merck is not alone in this type of behavior, but by no means is it considering ethical, especially when their interest is to avoid financial loss.
    dude, even the FDA doesnt say there is a causal relationship!

    "Despite the fact that clear causal links between finasteride (Propecia and Proscar) and sexual adverse events have NOT been established..."

    that's right from the FDA website. there is currently NO clear causal relationship, so why on earth would merck say that there is? of course if you are right and they do know for certain that there IS a causal relationship and that theya re covering it up, then that is absolutely a 'cover up', but nobody knows that for certain except merck. I believe that could possibly be the case but I think its pretty unlikely.

    you shouldnt say spencer owes it to the community because of what YOU believe


    I apologize for being blunt, but you have proven that you have less than a high school knowledge of statistics. Merck conducted the study so their conclusions will contain significant spin, but the data show that there is a causal relationship beyond a shadow of a doubt.
    I actually didnt even take statistics in high school, so you are completely correct there!! Merck did not conduct the pless study, it was conducted at the university of washington, but funded by a grant from Merck... we have argued this to death, and I completely disagree with you, and i've explained why in the other thread.. since no one else has stepped in to discuss this, we will have to leave it at a stalemate.


    The FDA database cannot be used to determine the frequency of an event happening in a population. There are many reasons for this, including but not limited to: 1. It is logistically very difficult to actually enter in your information into the Medwatch dabase which deters patients 2. Many patients do not know about Medwatch that are facing side effects 3. This was over a narrow time and did not include recent reports. Once the FDA investigation became public, many many men submitted their reports which were excluded from the count but justified the FDA's action.
    so like everyone else, you have no idea how many actual legitimate cases there are out there.. you said in another thread you have personally been in contact with thousands of men, have ruled out any other possible cause of their symptoms and know for sure that propecia caused their problems, but you can not share any more information than that. okay fair enough, I but you might understand why i wont take your word on it.

    i even look on propeciahelp and there is absolutely nothing like this there... no data compiled to show how common side effects are... why wont you admit you just dont know for certain how common it is and leave it at that? everyone believes that these side effects are real (I certainly do) but why must you now insist that they are very common as well? It just seems like you arent satisfied until everyone thinks finasteride is pure poison, thinks the drug should be banned, that merck be shut down, and so on...


    VIOXX was an additional product that was approved around the same time as Propecia, subject to the same corporate culture and values. If Merck was willing to conceal risks at that same time that killed nearly one hundred thousand people, why would they act any differently towards Propecia. This is not proof in itself, but gives context as to how much trust one should put in Merck's values, research, and social responsibility.
    who cares about propecia, finasteride was approved in 1992, around 8 years before vioxx was. merck has also released dozens of products around the same time, but just because vioxx was an awful drug, doesnt mean that all their drugs are. they are completely different chemicals.. merck isnt churning out poison and trying to cover up the side effects for all their drugs. you can go to the FDA website and see hundreds of drugs that have been withdrawn for various reasons, and new side effects (often deatly) are found in drugs that have been on the market for a while. it doesnt mean every company knew about all of the potential, even extremely rare side effects, and covered it up.

    again the whole point here is that severe finasteride symptoms appear to be very rare, and you have no way to prove to the world that they are common. since the side effects are rare, its completely possible that merck has NEVER encountered them before. vioxx increased heart attack risk by 35%, which is a VERY significant amount.. they would have immediately seen this, but as a completely evil, heartless move, they chose to cover it up to make more money.. unforgivable what happened there, and may whoever did that burn in hell for eternity... but finasteride is a completely different story.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_charger View Post
    I actually didnt even take statistics in high school, so you are completely correct there!!
    Nothing more really needs to be said here. This is evidence of such immense hubris that your judgment simply cannot be trusted. If you do not understand even the fundamentals of statistical study, what makes you think you have the capacity to interpret the statistical data of clinical trials?

    That would be equivalent to me offering a contemporary critique on renaissance portraiture. Please don't offer your opinion when you don't have the background or knowledge to deserve an opinion.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoothSayer View Post
    Nothing more really needs to be said here. This is evidence of such immense hubris that your judgment simply cannot be trusted. If you do not understand even the fundamentals of statistical study, what makes you think you have the capacity to interpret the statistical data of clinical trials?

    That would be equivalent to me offering a contemporary critique on renaissance portraiture. Please don't offer your opinion when you don't have the background or knowledge to deserve an opinion.
    you've got me there. you clearly know more about statistics than I do. but one thing I do know for certain is that numbers can be easily manipulated to make it *look* like they are supporting your viewpoint. companies do it all the time, in fact, any commercial you see with graphs or statistics showing how well their products work are complete BS. just because you ran the numbers through a few calculations and found something you like doesnt mean you are correct.

    I also know that with the power of the internet, if you believe something strongly enough, you can ALWAYS find evidence to support it if you look hard enough.

    Lets forget about statistics though, because the fact you keep dancing around is that the researchers at the university that actually conducted this peer reviewed and published medical study did not see any significance. why should I trust someone on the internet who has such an extremely strong bias and does whatever he can to make look finasteride look as bad as possible, over a dozen researchers with doctorates who actually conducted the study??? how about you get a study published and peer reviewed and then we can talk!

    you keep trying to undermine my intelligence, but I know the points i make are strong and you usually arent able to make a good argument against them. most of your arguments include having to take your word on things, conspiracy theories, cover ups, and so on...

    back on to the PLESS though, this is your sole piece of proof that you keep going back to. but you dont stop to realize that there are dozens of other studies out there that DONT show the same results as this. any rational person would see this and think "well maybe there was an unintended bias in the PLESS that showed these unusual results". and of course, we look at it and see that almost HALF of the participants already had a history of sexual dysfunction, which is a huge problem right from the start... you are conveniently looking past these issues because you see something in this study you can pick out and use to support what you believe.



    My final point: if you dont want to listen to or read anything else I said, read this:

    Your arguments are really all over the place… this is an overview of your stance up until now:

    You believe merck is covering up evidence that they have always known finasteride caused persisting symptoms. You thought that merck actually conducted the PLESS, while they knew all along that finasteride caused persistent symptoms. Yet you say this study undoubtedly shows exactly what you claim they are trying to cover up. then you argue that the fact the researchers concluded there was no significance in persisting side effects was just another coverup by merck to make their drug look better… okay…

    Now I tell you that merck did NOT actually conduct this study, but it was done at a university. Okay, so now the researchers there ****ed up and misinterpreted the data. Oh wait a second, they received a grant from merck? Okay then obviously merck changed the results of the study… wait, but the math itself shows what they are trying to cover up, even though the verbiage shows the drug is safe? okay well maybe the guy that is in charge of the cover-ups at merck was on a vacation.

    You keep changing your theories to support the argument you are trying to win at the moment... you can probably see why I take what you say with a grain of salt.

  8. #18
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    I have not been changing my arguments and I have made irrefutable points that you simply have not understood. I asked you to research the concept of 'statistical significance' as it is from statistics 100 and you haven't done so. Your opinion is based off of such little expertise it doesn't mean anything. Your comments about manipulating numbers to prove points only really means that people who don't understand statistics can be easily fooled by certain arguments. You do not understand them, but if you did you would see exactly what I am talking about.

    I don't remember the exact details of who conducted the PLESS study. If it is true that it was only funded by Merck, which I am not sure is true, it doesn't really change anything since their financial involvement threatens objectivity. Either way, the study still shows that finasteride caused more irreversible erectile dysfunction above the placebo showing that the drug does in fact cause the symptoms in question.

    I will no longer respond to your messages as I have said what needs to be said. I hope Spencer will listen to our voice and help work to uncover the nuances of this tragedy. He protects men against fraudulent hair surgeons who victimize patients by stealing their money. Merck has victimized innocent patients by stealing their livelihood and happiness which is priceless.

  9. #19
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    http://www.cafepharma.com/boards/sho...d.php?t=502505

    This may give you a little extra insight into Merck's culture as it currently stands. This forum is for drug representatives and they are discussing their experiences working at Merck. Notably, there is not a single disagreeing opinion. You will be hard-pressed to find even a single positive comment about the company in the entire forum.

    Here is an example of Merck exploiting and abusing its employees. We know that they have killed their patients for money. And recently this year they were fined nearly $1 billion dollars for criminal activities in which they directly lied to the government. Their shareholders are not even benefitting as the company has hemorrhaged more than half of its value in the past 12 years.

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