Prescriptions for testosterone therapy drugs, such as Androgel and Axiron have more than tripled in the last decade. Not wanting to deal with the fatigue that comes along with low testosterone (Low-T), many patients are seeking out testosterone drugs, at all costs. When a doctor doesn’t think treating with testosterone therapy is completely necessary, men head out to a Low-T clinic for a second opinion.
Low-T clinics are viewed by some critics as the black market of testosterone drugs. The prescriptions are not tracked, the patients pay cash, and insurance is not accepted.
Dr. Bradley Anawat, head of the Hormone Health Network called the Low-T clinics “sex hormone factories” that promote testosterone drugs as a cure-all. Anawat believes these Low-T clinics are out to prescribe as much testosterone as possible.
However, Dr. Bill Rielly, Chief Medical Officer at Low T Center disagrees. In an interview with National Public Radio (NPR), Dr. Reilly advised that patients of the Low T Center must have a diagnosed medical condition before they are given testosterone drugs, and that his 45 Low T Centers have turned away over 15,000 men because they did not meet the medical definition of low testosterone.
In addition to criticism of the Low-T clinics making testosterone more available, many health care experts suggest that these doctors at the Low-T clinics are not even qualified to be dispensing testosterone therapy drugs.
A small percentage of the doctors working at Low-T clinics specialize in endocrinology or urology. If you walk into a Low-T clinic for a prescription for testosterone therapy, you may be treated by an anesthesiologist, an allergist, an osteopath or a gynecologist. Dr. Reilly of the Low T Center is really a joint surgeon.
Critics are concerned that a diagnosis of Low-T from an unqualified medical professional may not be completely accurate and may cause the patient to suffer unnecessary side effects of testosterone drugs.
While critics dispute the safety of Low-T clinics, many healthcare experts are also disputing the safety of the drugs themselves. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently announced an investigation into the safety and side effects of testosterone drugs.
The FDA’s decision to investigate testosterone side effects came after a 2014 study suggested a possible link between testosterone and heart attacks. Older men treated with testosterone drugs, such as Androgel or Axiron, doubled their risk for suffering a heart attack. Younger men with a history of heart disease also had a higher risk of suffering a testosterone-related heart attack.
Unfortunately, the link between testosterone and heart attacks is not completely new. Past studies have also suggested a possible link between testosterone drugs and heart attacks, but manufacturers neglected to update the warning labels. Because many testosterone-heart attack victims believe they were misled, they have sought out testosterone lawyers in an attempt to seek justice through testosterone lawsuits.
To read the full NPR article on Low-T clinics, please visit: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/04/28/305658501/prescription-testosterone-the-biggest-men-s-health-craze-since-viagra-may-be-ris
For more information on testosterone side effects and testosterone heart attacks, please visit: testosterone-heart-attack.com
Joshua C. Cohan joined Anapol Weiss as an associate in 2013 and is a member of the firm’s Mass Tort Team. His practice focuses on pharmaceutical and medical device mass tort litigation involving complex medical, scientific, and legal issues.