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Puberty Blockers: What's really behind the push to medically transition children?

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

The Financial Influences in Medical Transitions of Children: An Examination of Lupron's Role, its Lawsuits and the unintended Damage caused.


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by transman Scott Newgent


A conspicuous trend in recent years has been the growing number of children affirming they are transgender. For many, this self-identification leads to hormonal treatments and other medical procedures intended to transition their bodies. However, the Heck et al. study (2014) underscores the severe health outcomes that may stem from early transitioning, such as psychological distress and suicide rates among transgender individuals' post-transition ("Mental Health and Suicide Risk," https://bit.ly/2TNZCyH).


This narrative essay expounds on the monetary aspects driving this trend, the lawsuits raised against Lupron and the potential damage they may induce.


Leuprorelin, marketed as Lupron, a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist, is commonly administered to children diagnosed with gender dysphoria to halt their natural puberty. While originally designed to treat prostate cancer and endometriosis, it has emerged as a linchpin in paediatric transgender healthcare (Dehesa, 2015)[1].


The financial influence in these medical transitions is significant. Owing to its patent, Lupron's high cost creates enormous profits, with a monthly dose for a child costing around £2800/$3500(Rodriguez, 2017)[2]. Given the sheer number of children undergoing such transitions, companies manufacture the drug, like AbbVie, are profiting immensely.

 
The latest numbers from the Willams Institute have revealed a surprising statistic - over 300,000 children between the ages of 13-17 in the US alone identify as transgender and are seeking medical transition. 

This particular age group is usually prescribed puberty blockers, which are taken over a 3-year period of time. This is a crucial step for these young individuals to align their physical bodies with their gender identity.

The total revenue at stake if the medical and mental health industry have their say the Finacial implications are mind blowing!

The Total Revenue Amount at Stake
Per Year: thirteen billion three hundred twenty million
Suggested Medical Route 3 Yrs. at Stake: thirty-nine billion nine hundred sixty million
These numbers reflect if every child who believes they are transgender was started on puberty blockers. We know that's not going to happen, but isn't that essentially the point? Feelings change, and children's feelings of who they are change at a rapid speed! If this was a consistent argument and we should medically transition all children who believe they are transgender, then these numbers would hold. Since they don't, the point is made. Being transgender is a must and not a choice for a child. It's cosmetic surgery.
 

A plausible question emerges - are we potentially endangering children's wellbeing to line the pockets of pharmaceutical firms?


Beyond profitability stands the human cost. A myriad of lawsuits has been filed against Lupron due to allegations of serious side effects (Mariani, 2017)[3]. In these proceedings, patients reported enduring brittle bones, faulty joints and cognitive impairment as a result of the drug's administration. Some families professed that their children, once lively and vigorous, were transformed into listless versions of their former selves (Ali, 2018)[4].


Lupron's adverse effects have thus become a source of multiple medical malpractice lawsuits. As profits sky-rocket, judicial contests seem to undermine the risks associated with the drug.



And what of its damaging repercussions? There are alarming implications for children subjected to long-term use of puberty blockers. Studies suggest these children may suffer from skeletal health problems, infertility, impaired cognitive abilities, and even an increased risk of suicide (Kaltiala-Heino et al., 2018)[5].


Interrogation of these financial dimensions raises ethical and practical concerns about such medical transitioning for children. It calls for a thorough evaluation by healthcare professionals, legal legislators, as well as the society at large. Each child's best interest must dictate decisions made about their healthcare, not profit agendas of pharmaceutical companies.


In the annals of corporate malfeasance, many have filled speech and literature, yet few resonate so profoundly as the notorious Lupron case of 2003 (US Department of Justice, 2003)[^1^]. This was a landmark instance in pharmaceutical legal history, moulding a paradigm shift in public health policy and corporate governance. It involved the sacrosanct domain of public health, challenging the very ethos behind medical practice - the Hippocratic Oath, 'primum non nocere,' first, do no harm.

 

But Let's Not Forget Lupron's Medical Malpractice Case - 2003 US Fined 874 million and called a "Criminal Enterprise."

Lupron, was the epicenter of a scandal that notably resulted in its manufacturers, TAP Pharmaceuticals, being levied with an unprecedented fine of $874 million (The Guardian, 2003)[^2^]. The US government further branded TAP Pharmaceuticals a 'criminal enterprise,' - a designation potent in its damning indictment (The Guardian, 2003)[^2^].


The scandal was catalysed by the unsettling revelation of Lupron’s overpricing and an illicit marketing scheme designed to exploit the US Medicare system (Kesselheim & Avorn, 2008)[^3^]. The venality of TAP Pharmaceuticals concocted a cesspool of malfeasance, inflating health care's cost and undermining its sanctity. To dissect this, we must delve into understanding the sordid modus operandi employed.


TAP's marketing ploy involved incentivizing physicians illicitly to prescribe Lupron over cheaper, equally effective options. For every Lupron injection administered, physicians were reimbursed at a significantly higher rate by Medicare (Lichtenberg, 2005)[^4^]. This scheme, though lucrative for doctors and TAP alike, was at the expense of taxpayers and the ethical integrity of the healthcare system.


The US government's response, penalizing TAP Pharmaceuticals with what was then the most massive criminal fine in the history of American healthcare, was indicative of the gravity of TAP's malpractices (US Department of Justice, 2003)[^1^]. The enormity of the fine was a determinant effort to deter other pharmaceutical corporations from mimicking TAP's malevolence.


The Lupron malpractice case was an egregious violation of public trust and corporate responsibility engendering a legislative revival in distinct ways. Firstly, it foregrounded the dire need for systematic oversight, transparency, and reform in the pharmaceutical industry pricing strategy. The dire consequence was that it stirred a thorough legislative response, leading the US Congress to enact legislation aimed at preventing such unscrupulous pricing behavior (Kesselheim & Avorn, 2008)[^3^].


Finally, the Lupron case underscored the potent power of whistleblowing in uncovering corporate malpractices. The act of two intrepid salesmen - Douglas Durand and Dr. Joseph Gerstein - reporting TAP's malpractice to the authorities exemplified the paramount role informants often play in unveiling such impropriety (ABC News, 2001)[^5^].


What about 'The Social Contagion Effect'


Yet, the most alarming proposition debates how this vast transgender identification expansion might derive from social contagion, a process where conformity and an empathetic urge collide (Littman, 2018, https://bit.ly/3iVjn4X). This suggests we are living in the grip of a societal craze, where transgender confession enjoys both encouragement and pervasive exposure, especially via online resources (Rauch, 2022, https://bit.ly/3zsho6w).

 
ScottNewgent.com
The number of teenagers and young adults in the United States who identify as transgender has doubled in the past five years, according to a new study.
 

Study estimates trans youth population has doubled in 5 years new estimates based on C.D.C. health surveys point to a stark generational shift in the growth of the transgender population of the United States from .06% of the population to a staggering 8.4% stated by the latest polls. in 2022, there were about 25.8 million children between the ages of 12- and 17-years old living in the United States. If the newest figure of 8.4% of children believe they are transgender and in need of medical transitioning the 300,000 children jump to nearly 2.3 million children.


Shall we do the new numbers? Let's do it:

300,000 children who believe they are transgender would generate:

Thirty-nine billion nine hundred sixty million - Revenue up for grabs

New study/Number of children who believe they are transgender 2.5 million.

children who believe they are transgender would generate:

Three trillion three hundred thirty billion - Revenue up for grabs


These are dollars dangling in front of all though pharmaceutical executive. Now tell me again that medically transitioning children is about human rights...I dare you!

 

Contrarily, some posit that what observers note as contagion is a diaphanous development of confidence among children, prompted to come out and express their transgender feelings in a more accepting society (Aitken et al., 2022, https://bit.ly/3oNkxDU).


'Detransitioners'


While social acceptance is paramount, it's important to contemplate the potential repercussions. The existence of 'detransitioners' - those who regret their decision to medically transition - adds a level of complexity to our understanding of early transitioning ("Transgender Kids," https://bit.ly/3iX1jj1).


Preventing Unwanted Scenario


An in-depth approach, incorporating not only the child's desk but also considering their cognitive development, mental health, and the influence of societal trends, should be adopted when dealing with transgender identification in children. The goal of healthcare, in this case, should be to prevent harmful or unnecessary medical interventions (Marchiano, 2022, https://bit.ly/3Cyn9zw).


Undoubtedly, the escalating numbers of children professing a transgender identity pose a unique challenge to society and healthcare providers. It is essential that this increase, paralleled with an understanding social contagion and accelerated by affirmation culture, is considered seriously. There must be a nuanced approach that respects and supports these children's self-proclaimed identities while cautiously acknowledging the potential life-altering outcomes of early medical transition.


 

Not many voices within this debate, consider a donation today.

 

The financial aspects of medically transitioning children are layered and complex. Though Lupron seems to offer a lucrative avenue for certain companies, the benefits are outweighed by the complications ensuing from its use, both in legal and health terms. The health of our future generations should never be subjugated to the whims of financial prognoses.


Sources:


[1]Dehesa, R. (2015). Use of GnRH agonists in adolescents with gender dysphoria: a first update. International Journal of Transgender Health, 16 (1), 29-37. Retrieved from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15532739.2016.1151805


[2]Rodriguez, A. (2017). Rising costs of transgender hormones threaten self-administration. The Guardian. Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/08/transgender-hormones-health-care-costs


[3]Mariani, M. (2017). The controversy surrounding Lupron, a puberty-delaying drug for children. The Atlantic. Retrieved from: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/07/puberty-blockers/532473/


[4]Ali, A. (2018). Is there a Lupron disaster for children? Implications of the drug’s side effects. HealthImpactNews. Retrieved from: https://healthimpactnews.com/2018/is-there-a-lupron-disaster-for-children-implications-of-the-drugs-side-effects/


[5]Kaltiala-Heino, R. (2018). Two years of gender identity service for minors: overrepresentation of natal girls with severe problems in adolescent development. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 12. Retrieved from: https://capmh.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13034-018-0220-6


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Transman
Scott Newgent

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