The Wall Street Journal story raised questions about the validity of estimates that 20-30% of men had premature ejaculation. The MSNBC story, on the other hand, took that estimate at face value (the higher end of the range, in fact) and called it "a real problem." Then it termed the study results "a big improvement." We far preferred the added balanced info given readers of the WSJ story.
There’s been a lot of advertising disease-mongering of erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation (or, as marketing people try to drum the labels into us: ED and PE). As a drug company prepares to make its case to the FDA to get marketing approval, journalists should apply a bit more balance and scrutiny of the evidence than was seen in this blog entry.
No discussion of cost. If this was based on info given at a company briefing, you had the folks right there who could have answered this. What are they projecting?
Too simplistic. It just lumped the findings into one statement: "…the men extended that time to a mean of 3.3 minutes." The story frames this as "a big improvement" without any input from the volunteers or their partners about whether it actually was.
Not one discussion of even one potential harm.
The Wall Street Journal story, by comparison, at least mentioned the side effects found in the studies.
But neither story answered these questions: Are there long term effects from lidocaine exposure that have been found in other studies? Does the body build up resistance to lidocaine? This isn’t a short term problem that can be solved with a few weeks of therapy. It is usually a life long problem, and these stories should have been framed that way both in discussing the benefits and the harms.
No evaluation of the quality of the evidence. No questions raised about study design and the combination of two studies of unknown quality.
Which tells you more?
The MSNBC story that says "up to an estimated 30 percent of men" have premature ejaculation.
Or a Wall Street Journal story that says: "Surveys have suggested that as many as 20% to 30% of men may suffer from premature ejaculation, though these figures are often drawn from broadly worded survey questions and may overstate the number of men with significant problems."
We think the former falls short.
The story quoted one urologist who attended the drug company’s briefing on the drug.
The story says that "Men have tried everything from rubber bands, to masturbation endurance training (yes, really), to taking anti-depressants (because those drugs have a usually unwanted side effect of delayed ejaculation) to prolong their “latency.” " But that’s the only discussion of alternatives we’re given. We’re not given the context the Wall Street Journal gave us when it reported:
While a savvy consumer could surmise that the drop is not ready for prime time given its "PSD502" name, the story never clearly stated that it is not FDA approved and not even in the pipeline for marketing approval yet.
The story explains that the concept is not new – that the experimental drug is a combination of two common topical painkillers.
Not applicable. It’s unclear to what extent the story was influenced by a news release.