Every time we turn on the television or use the Internet, we are hit with a seemingly endless stream of advertisements for prescription medications. If we are watching a sporting event on television, many of the ads target male viewers. One of the frequently advertised drugs in these ads is testosterone replacement therapy hormones.
Testosterone therapy drugs were first placed on the market in the 1970s to treat a relatively rare medical condition known as hypogonadism. This condition involves a young male patient who does not have enough testosterone for normal development. The testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) drugs were shown to work, but it is important to understand that a patient with hypogonadism will have an extremely low testosterone count.
These days TRT is advertised as a cure all for the symptoms of normal male aging. The commercials tell aging men that taking the hormone will stop weight gain, reduce muscle fatigue, help with depression, increase one’s libido, and give the patient more overall energy. Essentially, these ads tell use if we take TRT drugs, we can feel young again. What they do not tell people is that the drugs were never approved for this person and are being used off market. What the ads also try to gloss over is that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found that there is link between men without hypogonadism taking testosterone replacement therapy drugs and an increased risk for stroke and heart attack.
Not only that, it is not known if the medications actually work. While doctors can give a person testosterone replacement therapy drugs and increase one’s testosterone level, they do not even really know what that means to a patient and if it actually accomplishes any of the things the commercials claims will happen.
As for how they are prescribed, that is more of an interesting question. It is sort of gray area where the drug can be prescribed for what is known as an off label use, as long as the doctor relies on symptoms alone. However, many doctors are not sure this is allowed under FDA guidelines in the case of TRT drugs, so they are not willing to prescribe the medication for patients who do not suffer from hypogonadism.
For this reason, most patients who get the drugs go to what are generally referred to as T clinics that have sprung up around the country. They typically run under the supervision of a licensed doctor who gets paid by the center, but has very little to do with seeing patients or the daily operation of the clinic.
According to a recent news feature from NBC News, one doctor recently got fined $25,000 for his involvement with one of these clinics. He allegedly was told he would get paid thousands of dollars for performing plastic surgery on patients, but he was never really performing any surgery on these patients. Instead, they used his prescription pad to write TRT prescriptions for patients who did not have any blood tests.
Call the Boston Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
Boca Raton doctor penalized for prescribing testosterone, hormone pills to patients without exam, June 3, 2016, NBC News, By Katie LaGrone
More Blog Entries:
FDA Announces Testosterone Meds Must Carry Broader Warning, July 7, 2014, Boston Products Liability Lawyers Blog