Perhaps a rhetorical question but…..
amid all the blog postings, magazine articles, support groups, â€œchest poundingâ€, editorials etc â€“ why has there not been a well-controlled, scientific study that has prospectively followed a group (perhaps 200-300) of men who begin Propecia for a period of several years? This type of study can then quantify the incidence of persistent sexual dysfunction (that is said to be common), use nocturnal penile tumescence to document further; understand any baseline factors that can possible predict who is more likely to have such an effect, and explore/evaluate all the differential diagnoses that predispose to erectile dysfunction or libido problems (psychological including social issues and life stresses; concomitant medications; coexisting medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, lipid disorders; endocrine abnormalities including testosterone/prolactin levels; cigarette smoking; chronic alcohol use; vascular problems, etc) as well as influence of different therapeutic options.
Such a study, which could be done outside of the influence of a pharmaceutical company, seems to be able to be done by any leading urology academic center that sees large number of men placed on Propecia, and would be relatively inexpensive and noninvasive. At present, the field seems to be highly dependent upon retrospective questionnaires in men who have these effects, and an absence of extensive data.
I completely agree. We need to have a statistically valid audience for a good prospective summary. Unfortunately, that type of study will take years to obtain and someone has to pay for it.