Read Original Story

Hormones given through the skin are worth a look


4 Star

Hormones given through the skin are worth a look

Our Review Summary

This story reports on the increasingly popular–but largely untested–so-called “bioidentical” or “compounded” hormones. This well-balanced piece balances opinion with fact, quoting leading researchers, clinicians in private practice, the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, and a Wyeth spokeswoman to demonstrate the range of opinions (and dearth of hard evidence) about these products.


Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?

Not Satisfactory

No mention of costs of bioidentical,

transdermal, oral forms.

Does the story adequately quantify the benefits of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Not Satisfactory

Doesn’t actually mention outcomes for which hormone therapy is

being used, other than “keep feeling good” in the last paragraph. Given the lack of quality of life data for those taking

hormone therapy, this deserves attention.

Does the story adequately explain/quantify the harms of the intervention?


Story addresses competing views on harms.

Does the story seem to grasp the quality of the evidence?


Story cites review by

American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists that found no evidence of INCREASED efficacy or safety (not clear whether

it found them to be AS effective or safe)

Does the story commit disease-mongering?


No disease mongering

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?


Story notes FDA-approved non-oral

forms; however, story doesn’t compare their effectiveness w/compounded forms.

Does the story establish the availability of the treatment/test/product/procedure?


Story makes clear that compounded hormones are not FDA-approved.

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?


FDA-approved transdermal

forms long been available

Total Score: 8 of 10 Satisfactory


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