PFS is characterized by sexual, neurological, hormonal and psychological side effects that persist in men who have taken the prescription drug finasteride to treat hair loss (under the brand name Propecia and generics), or enlarged prostates (Proscar and generics).
Reported symptoms include loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, suicidal ideation, anxiety, panic attacks, Peyronie’s disease, penile shrinkage, gynecomastia, muscle atrophy, cognitive impairment, severely dry skin, tinnitus, and depression. The condition often has a life-altering impact on victims and their families, such as job loss and the breakup of marriages and romantic relationships, while also being linked to suicides.
The Foundation, established earlier this year with private grants from families in the U.S., Canada and Switzerland, also announced the election of Dr. John Santmann (right) as CEO, Dr. Rosemary McGeady as general counsel, and Matthew D. Weintraub, R.N., as vice president.
“From the increasing number of PFS cases being reported to the FDA, it’s likely that we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of how many men have been rendered impotent by finasteride, let alone beset by other severe side effects that don’t resolve themselves months and even years after quitting the drug,” said Dr. Santmann.
“Now, with the foundation’s website serving as a focal point for the scientific community, we aim to facilitate research at universities and hospitals in the U.S. and abroad,” added Dr. Santmann. “Through these initiatives, we’re seeking to identify the underlying biologic mechanisms of PFS and, hopefully, develop effective treatments.”
Financial contributions to the foundation can be made via PFSFoundation.org, which also houses published research, research goals, and media reports about PFS.
PFS often has a life-altering impact on victims and their families, including job loss and the breakup of marriages and romantic relationships, while also being linked to suicides.
On April 11, 2012, the FDA ordered drug manufacturer Merck & Co. to revise the labeling on Propecia to reflect mounting evidence that it can cause persistent sexual dysfunction. Of the 421 Propecia-related sexual dysfunction cases reviewed by the FDA in its probe, 14 percent lasted longer than three months after patients quit the drug.
About Dr. John Santmann
Dr. Santmann brings three decades of medical experience to the PFS Foundation. An Emergency Department physician by training, he spent two years in residency at Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, Va., after completing his internship at Alameda County Medical Center in Oakland, Calif. From 1988 to 1999, he practiced at both community- and academic-based medical centers in Missouri and New Jersey, including the Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center in New Brunswick, N.J. In recent years, Dr. Santmann has worked in the field of healthcare information technology. He earned his M.D. from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and his B.A., in biophysics, from The Johns Hopkins University.
About Dr. Rosemary McGeady
A Fellow of the College of Legal Medicine and the American College of Cardiology, Dr. McGeady has had the distinction practicing law and medicine during her 30-year career, bringing expertise in both disciplines to the PFS Foundation. Currently an attorney with Levinson Axelrod, she specializes in medical-malpractice law. Dr. McGeady, whose father, Paul McGeady, was a noted First Amendment attorney, earned her J.D. from Seton Hall University, and was admitted to the New Jersey Bar in 2005. In 1982, she earned her M.D. from St. Louis University Medical School, then spent three years in residency at Highland General Hospital in Oakland, Calif. From 1992 to 2001, Dr. McGeady served as a partner in the New Brunswick Cardiology Group in New Brunswick, N.J.
About Matthew Weintraub
Matthew Weintraub R.N., B.S.N., CEN, PHRN, has worked in hospital and pre-hospital acute care medical settings for more than 20 years, and in the health care IT sector for 15 years. He is currently VP of development and operations for a leading health care IT company, where he specializes in federal health care policy initiatives such as the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). He also remains clinically active, namely as a flight nurse for the Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network in Allentown, Pa., and is a member of the Emergency Nurses Association, Health Level Seven, National Council for Prescription Drug Programs and Emergency Medical Informatics Association. He lives with his family in Bethlehem, Pa.
About the Post-Finasteride Syndrome Foundation
Headquartered in Somerset N.J., the Post-Finasteride Syndrome Foundation was established in July 2012, and filed for 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service in August 2012.
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