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February 21, 1948

Current Comment

JAMA. 1948;136(8):558. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890250046014

A NEW LOW IN PROMOTION OF TESTOSTERONE  Writers of promotional material constantly seek new and novel means to extend the sales of the products they extol. A new low seems to have been reached in the promotion of a brand of testosterone. A brochure entitled "Male Sex Hormone Therapy in the Male and Female" lifts a partial quotation from an article by Thompson,1 "failure to show improvement means that the symptoms complained of are not the result of the male climacteric," to suggest that testosterone be administered as a means of diagnosis. If the patient improves following male hormone therapy, he is in the midst of his climacteric—the testosterone goes in and the diagnosis comes out—either he has it, or he hasn't. The fallacy should be obvious. Too often uncritical readers swallow such post hoc ergo propter hoc reasoning without appreciating its absurdity. Vague symptoms of anxiety, tiredness and