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"New drug likened to fountain of youth"

Victoria Times Colonist

Source: Victoria Times Colonist

Published: 22 Jun 2022

Category: Pharmaceutical

Rating: (1 star)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

Scientists may have found a proverbial fountain of youth, a drug that appears to slow -- and even reverse -- the physical effects of aging.
In tests on nearly 400 men and women aged 65 and older, drug giant Pfizer's experimental pill significantly boosted levels of a hormone behind the growth spurt at puberty.
Compared to those on a placebo, volunteers given the hormone stimulator capromorelin experienced an average increase in muscle mass of 1.4 kilograms...

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 2 of 10
Availability of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Not Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Not Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Not Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

This is one of a number of drugs that are being touted as anti-aging pills. It is arguable whether these treatments are purveying a form of disease-mongering (is getting old now a disease?) yet the quoted spokesperson does provide context about the treatment. While the results are intriguing, unfortunately, the article provides little detail on the design of the study or the magnitude of benefit or harm. This information is needed to put these results into proper perspective. The article correctly points out - none of the studies is yet on "anywhere near as big a scale as would be needed to give us the full picture of the pros and the cons". Studies such as these do not merit such sensationalistic headlines.

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