This broadcast piece does a reasonable job of framing the use of custom-mixed 'bioidentical' hormones as an alternative to commercially available hormone therapies for relieving menopausal symptoms.
However, it relies exclusively on interviews, and does not tell the whole story about the available evidence on these products. While it's true that botanical products are not regulated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), many have been tested in clinical trials both in the United States and in Europe–and the evidence that they relieve menopausal symptoms is somewhat less positive than the story suggests. An interview with a woman who found they did not relieve her symptoms, or more information about the evidence, would have provided some important balance.
Similarly, concerns about their risks are primarily theoretical, because to date there have not been large-scale studies of their harms. Dr. Schwartz's statement that profit motives explain the lack of these studies goes unchallenged. What's more, it's a bit disingenuous, given that 'Dr. Erika' herself runs a website marketing both her books and her 'exclusive' supplements (www.DrErika.com).
No mention of cost.
The story doesn't provide any information about how many women are helped, or how much.
Story quotes an expert who asserts that bioidentical hormones have same possible harms as other forms, as well as other possible downsides related to 'custom mixing' of these unregulated products.
It's not possible to tell from the story whether bioidentical hormones have been studied in the same way as synthetic hormones or whether there is evidence that they can relieve menopause symptoms.
No overt disease-mongering, though the story was somewhat skewed toward a view that menopause is a time of universal and persistent suffering.
The story relies on interviews with experts without noting whether any attempt was made to verify their statements about the benefits and harms of bioidentical hormones. The story relied heavily on input from Dr. Erika Schwartz, book author, who runs a website marketing both her books and her 'exclusive' supplements (www.DrErika.com).
The story makes a reasonable attempt to put bioidentical hormone products in context with commercial or synthetic hormones.
Story notes that bioidentical hormones, as defined in this piece (those derived from soy and yam extracts) are not FDA-approved.
It's clear that the story is discussing an alternative approach to an existing treatment.
We can't be sure if the story relied solely or largely on a news release, although it did lean heavily on the input from one book author.