SEATTLE -- Four local doctors have been accused of misconduct for allegedly prescribing human growth hormone to stunt the aging process.
People have been searching for the Fountain of Youth for centuries, and one of the latest treatments has them pumping that fountain through their veins.
Human growth hormone is easy to find online, and it's often accompanied by ads claiming it can restore youth, vigor and longevity. The problem is, the Food and Drug Administration says those types of claims are against that law.
Dr. Jerry Mixon hosts seminars and even has his own radio show. But he's now defending himself against allegations of wrongfully prescribing HGH to four patients. Mixon wasn't available for an interview, but he told KOMO News he used to prescribe HGH using the best science available, but he no longer prescribes it.
Mixon was also the target of a previous state investigation accusing him of having sex with a patient, who then tried to recruit for him. He disputes those claims.
The state is also accusing Dr. of Island County of inappropriately prescribing HGH to four patients. A records check shows has been on probation for past prescription violations. He was unavailable for comment.
State Department of Health investigators say Dr. Andrew Pauli of Bellingham wrongfully prescribed HGH to five patients and put them at risk. Reached on Thursday, Pauli refused to comment on the allegations.
Finally, Dr. Janet Vondran of the Clockstoppers Clinic in Kitsap County is accused of unprofessional conduct for prescribing HGH and potentially harming her patients. She, too, was unavailable for comment.
A state Health Department spokesman said one Internet user sparked all four investigations by reporting the allegedly-illegal marketing by the doctors.
"These advertisements were specifically for an anti-aging treatment," said Department of Health spokesman Tim Church. "Not only were they advertising for it, it was clear they were using it on their patients and had not done the proper diagnostic tests to assure that the patients really needed it."
An endocrinologist said the only FDA approved HGH prescriptions are for patients who test positive for HGH deficiencies and need the hormone for proper physical growth.
If patients take it for the wrong reason, HGH can have fatal results, according to Church.
"You could have the opposite affect," he said. "Instead of making you healthier and stronger, it could kill you if it prompted a tumor to grow quicker or cancer to get worse."
All four doctors are contesting the investigations and have hearings pending.
In February 2013 the Washington State Medical Commission entered an agreement with physician Janet E. Vondran(MD00033182) and placed her credential on probation for two years. Vondran treated patients with human growth hormone as an anti-aging therapy, and prescribed it for patients whose conditions showed no need for it. One patient developed carpal tunnel syndrome, but Vondran didn’t decrease or discontinue human growth hormone use as called for. Vondran also kept inadequate records for three patients and didn’t document a need to prescribe human growth hormone.
In March 2012 the Washington State Medical Commission charged physician Jerry N. Mixon(MD00023643) with unprofessional conduct. He allegedly treated patients with human growth hormone inappropriately and created an unreasonable risk of harm to patients.
In April 2013 the Washington State Medical Commission entered an agreement with physician Andrew D. Pauli (MD00024846) and placed his credential on probation for at least four years. Pauli advertised growth hormone therapy as anti-aging treatment, which the federal Food and Drug Administration prohibits, and recommended it to five patients. He also kept inadequate records.
All content on this website is opinion. No reference is made to, nor is there any intent to make any reference to any specific entity or individual as a quack or participating in quackery. Any such inference is incidental and not the objective or intent. Any newspaper articles or other media published here is the opinion of the author of the piece being reproduced here, not the producer of this website.