“The idea is exciting, but there’s always a cost involved. For example, there’s a product that was being injected into Peyronie’s plaque. Initial articles were favorable, but as time passed, we found that patients improved, but hardly anyone was cured. It turned out the treatment was exceedingly costly—about $19,000 if the patient didn’t have insurance—and the patient had to return many times.
Let’s do some dollar engineering on shock wave therapy for ED. What is the cost versus Viagra? Versus a penile implant? Intracorporeal injections? It’s not that it can’t be done, but how much does the patient have to pay for it?
The basis for it being a cure is not 100% known. It’s believed penis progenitor cells become more effective if they’re subjected to low-intensity shock wave. We aren’t sure if this is purely a vascular effect. Is it a neurogenic effect? Is it a corporeal cellular effect?
We could be very philosophical and say, ‘Who cares? If it’s safe and works—big deal.’
We could do more clinical research or be satisfied with recent multinational studies and say, ‘it’s worked in so many centers in the meta-analysis survey that we should start to make it available in the United States’. According to the meta-analysis, it does work. The question is the cost-benefit ratio. Apparently harmful side effects are not of much consequence. These are the questions that need to be answered.”
Harold Reed, MD
Bay Harbor Islands, FL