Dr. Sawaya tells HairlossTalk why she previously spoke so enthusiastically about Dutasteride…
Sawaya comments to HairlossTalk Users on Dutasteride July 13, 2001
Recently there has been some active debate in our Discussion Forum regarding the intentions behind the many comments Dr. Marty Sawaya made on several occasions in regards to Dutasteride’s performance in clinical trials. The comments found both on The Bald Truth Radio Show, news articles, and Video Webcasts, initiated quite a bit of excitement as people awaited the results of the first set of Trials.
Dr. Sawaya referred to Dutasteride’s performance as “amazing”, and spoke highly of it as the next great step forward in hair loss treatments.
As is common with human nature, the anticipation continued to rise as the weeks leading up to release went by. In discussion forums across many sites, people began referring to Dutasteride as the potential Cure to hair loss, and even misquoted Sawaya as having said this herself. In each new interview that came out, Sawaya stayed consistent with her assessment of the results, and even added a new phrase to fuel the fire, referring to its performance as “Astounding”.
When the 6 month Trial Results finally came out, people who considered Propecia and Rogaine the only viable treatments on the market were excited and relieved. They recognized Dutasteride as a newer and better alternative, and for that alone, they were thankful. Dutasteride outperformed both Propecia and Rogaine significantly. However, those who had set their expectations for a cure to hair loss were sourly disappointed. Why?
Dutasteride outperformed Propecia by nearly 50% after 6 months. Yet still, many people were gravely disappointed and frustrated. They began commenting that Dutasteride wasn’t worth all the hype. Many referred back to Sawaya’s comments and demanded to know why she spoke so highly of the treatment. For nearly 5 months Sawaya remained silent on the issue.
The recurring question that we kept seeing was: Why did Dr. Sawaya feel Dutasteride performed so well?
Some who compare the images above can see very plainly why she said this. Others see them and are disappointed. We decided to let Dr. Sawaya speak for herself. We had one of our users, Bryan Shelton, pose a single question to Sawaya in regards to her comments on the Dutasteride Trials. Below is that question, and Sawaya’s reply.
Dr. Sawaya –
There has been a lot of interest in the drug Dutasteride among the readers of various Web sites and newsgroups devoted to hairloss. A great deal of this has been a result of very favorable comments that you’ve made about it on a hair loss radio show using such words as ‘amazing’ in reference to the drug’s hair-regrowth performance. I’m aware that you’ve signed a non-disclosure agreement with Glaxo, so you can’t divulge any hard data about its performance; however, the hair-counts that were obtained for both Dutasteride and Finasteride during the six-month phase 2 trial have already been made public, and we now know that the Dutasteride hair-count was only about 50% better than what was obtained with Finasteride, the comparison drug. The reason I’m writing you is to say that a great many of us are rather disappointed in these results. My question is whether you could comment further on what motivated your enthusiasm for this drug in light of the hair-counts being only a little better than Finasteride? Was there more to the study that isn’t public yet, which justified this enthusiasm? Bryan Shelton
Dr. Sawaya’s Reply
“It may be that peoples expectations are a bit too high, but Dutasteride’s results were the “best” that has come to date, and even getting 50% hair counts better than Finasteride is great. Just think of the fact that this was only at 6 months.
Many expect that numbers will be even higher as the study continues to 12 months, 2 years etc. It’s possible that over 50% of men will be getting moderate to dense regrowth on Dutasteride, compared to the less than 25% of men who experience these results with Finasteride.
People reviewing the 6 month data are not considering that this was just a short pilot study and that longer term studies would have yielded even better results. They are not considering the details.”
Dr. Marty Sawaya