Posts Tagged ‘menopause’

ShopNBC’s Suzanne Somers And HSN’s Lauren Hutton Figure Prominently In New York Times Story On Big Pharma And Menopause Drugs

December 13, 2009

Illustration from New York Times story on controversy over Big Pharma and menopausal drugs

Former HSN vendor Suzanne Somers, who is now on ShopNBC, and current HSN beauty vendor Lauren Hutton are both featured Sunday in a New York Times story on menopausal hormone drugs.

The business story is headlined “Menopause, As Brought To You By Big Pharma,” and it chronicles the history and litigation revolving around drugs such as Prempro, a hormone drug made by pharm giant Wyeth.

According to The Times, more than 13,000 poeple have filed suit against Wyeth charging that its menopause drugs caused breast cancer and other medical problems.

Hutton, a former model who now sells a makeup line for women over 40 on HSN, appeared in commercials for Prempro.

According to The Times, in one spot Hutton said, “My doctor said if you don’t replace estrogen that you lose at menopause, your risk for certain age-related diseases could increase.”

The very end of the lengthy story talks about actress-best-selling-author Somers’ and her advocacy of so-called “bio-identical hormones” in her books “The Sexy Years” and “Ageless.”

“With sales of more than 2 million books, Ms. Somers has become a menopause guru to millions,” The Times writes.

But newspaper also quotes Dr. Lynne Shuster, director of the women’s health clinic at the Mayo Clinic, who argues that bio-identical hormones haven’t been studied in depth and don’t have approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Formerly Itchy, Bitchy, Sweaty Suzanne Somers

In an interview with The Times, 63-year-old Somers defended the hormones as safe, and provided the newspaper with stories from medical journals in support of her position.

Somers also takes credit in The Times story for “making the word ‘menopause’ mentionable.”

The blonde Somers, who moved her line of jewelry, clothes and nutritional items to ShopNBC after 17 years at HSN, also has described in detail what menopause without hormone replacement meant for her.

According to The Times, Somers says that she suffered “The Seven Dwarves of Menopause,” namely “Itchy, Bitchy, Sweaty, Sleepy, Bloated, Forgetful, All Dried Up.”

Too much information, girlfriend. Too much information.

Somers’ books often spark controversy and put her at odds with the medical establishment. Her latest tome, “Knockout: Interviews With Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer, And How To Prevent Getting It In The First Place,” created a firestorm and drew criticism from the American Cancer Society.

But “Knockout” is “a No. 1 NY Times bestseller,” according to Somers’ Web site.

Here’s a Hot Flash From QVC: New “Red Hot Mamas” Offers Products for Women in Menopause

September 21, 2009

If you are having a hot flash, wouldn’t it be great to have a small hand-held fan to cool off? Of course, your co-workers may wonder what’s up when you whip it out in the office during the winter, but what the hey. Today QVC began selling such fans, which are part of the “Red Hot Mamas” product line from menopause education provider Karen Giblin, who is founder and president of the company.

“This is a hot topic,” Giblin said. “Before it was hush, hush.”

In addition to a set of folding fans (which say “Yes, It’s Hot in Here”) for $18.97, Red Hot Mamas also has temperature-control “Chili Pads,” so you can heat up your bed for those times you break out in a cold sweat while sleeping, or cool off your bed if you have a hot flash. Those mattress pads go for a hefty $366 to $600.

There is also the Sweet Relief Soothing Solution, which is described as a water-filled “personal cooling device” not to be used “near sharp objects, microwave ovens.” At $29.16, it cools you off but apparently will wet you down if you stick it with a sharp object. Other products include the Menopause Rescue Kit, which includes small towels that fluff up when you put them in water and stay cold for three to six hours, to whip out when those flashes strike. QVC was also selling a set of two “Outsmarting Menopause” music CDs.

On QVC’s Web site, Giblin offers women tips on, once again, ways to “outsmart” menopause. Education on menopause is great, but a video clip that QVC showed of Giblin speaking to a group of women got us a little nervous. Giblin’s audience was dancing to the “Outsmarting Menopause” CD, whipping around red feather boas that they were all wearing on their necks. Over the top, girls.