The Oklahoma Male Clinic offered treatment specifically tailored for men, but with little regard for patients’ health or medical history. The two owners of the clinic chain have now been sentenced to probation for selling misbranded drugs, and their business shuttered by Federal agents.
On March 19, 2013 two men, Michael Schueter and Thomas Variola were sentenced to 2 years’ probation and fined $1,000 apiece as part of a plea agreement for their role in running the Oklahoma Male Clinic, a facility set up to aid men specifically with weight problems and sexual dysfunction, reports the Oklahoman on the occasion of the sentencing.
The clinic offered over 160 different medications that could be used to create a customized treatment plan, but the drug orders were being filled by out-of-state pharmacists not licensed to practice in Oklahoma, according to an Oklahoman report on when charges were first filed. The Oklahoman also states that A Better Business Bureau complaint filed on the Oklahoma Male Clinic described paying over $1,400 for custom-mixed, ersatz treatment that in the complainant’s words “[did] not work”.
According to former employees interviewed by the Oklahoman, doctors and nurses were never involved in patient treatment plans in any way. Drugs were prescribed without doctor consultation on the treatment. If patients reported therapeutic failure, as in the BBB complaint, the clinic would offer a “re-dose” that was a mixture of 4 different injectable medications. Doses were only measured by eyeball, as each drug was added to the syringe.
The Oklahoman also spoke with FDA Special Agent Lee Roediger who depicted the dangerous practices at the clinic, “Former employees have described the process of simply taking a syringe and withdrawing the desired amount from each bottle on the shelf. No exact measurements are taken. Instead, the measurements are based on estimations.”
As per orders described in documents pertaining to their sentencing, Scheuter and Variola are prohibited from engaging in any business “in the nature of the Oklahoma Male Clinic.”
Learn more about how men have been affected by counterfeit medication by taking a look at our Top 9 Health Risks Counterfeiters Exploit. When it comes to men’s health, counterfeiters see dollar signs.