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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Anti-ageing doctor guilty of professional misconduct

Julie Epstein

Dr. Julie Epstein, a consultant physician practicing at Artarmon in Sydney, was found guilty of medical misconduct for prescribing five anti-ageing drugs - anastrozole (Arimidex) human chorionic gonadotrophin, human growth hormone, nandrolone deconoate and testosterone.

Prescribing drugs "off label" for use other than reasons approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, is illegal.

Dr Epstein, an anti-ageing crusader came to the attention of the Health Care Complaints Commission over her treatment of 40 patients at her rooms between 2007 and 2009.

On Monday the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal found Dr Epstein repeatedly prescribed anabolic steroids and human growth hormone "off label".

Body builders, boxers and ordinary folk who want to turn back the clock, beat a path to her door but she is accused of not exercising responsible medical judgement.  She didn't measure weight or body mass index and took everything her clients told her at face value, without verification of scans or tests.

Her barrister Philip Greenwood SC, said some studies supported her theories but the tribunal found that because she chose not to conduct physical examinations, sanctioned excessive doses and prescribed more than two or more hormones at the same time, she did not conform to acceptable medical practice.

"I treat my patients with a view to preventing health decline, lost function and loss of mobility and cognition that is common in the last decades of life today" she said.

A hearing will be held in mid-April to decide if she is to have her registration cancelled.

There are now thousands of Australians with the knowledge and determination to keep old age at bay. Do they know is could be harmful to their health?  Yes.  Do they care?  No.

So there you have it, a public with a manic desire for drugs that will keep them young and vigorous and the Health Commission's responsibility to make sure we don't get them.