Man claims pe­nile in­jec­tions left him ster­ile

Clinic calls law­suit ‘base­less,’ says cus­tomer sat­is­fied

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION - BY CHRISTO­PHER VONDRACEK

An Alabama man says a men’s clinic promised him he’d be “like Su­per­man” in bed, but in­stead he was left with a crooked pe­nis.

Michael Forkner, 51, says he was duped by ra­dio ad­ver­tise­ments promis­ing a mir­a­cle drug for erec­tile dys­func­tion. Ac­cord­ing to fed­eral court records, his urol­o­gist says af­ter a year of in­ject­ing TriMix into his pe­nis, it is now ef­fec­tively non­func­tion­ing and may need an im­plant.

“These clin­ics prey upon a seg­ment of the pop­u­la­tion look­ing for health on a sen­si­tive mat­ter,” said Mr. Forkner’s at­tor­ney, Den­nis E. Golda­sich Jr., who filed a law­suit against Alabama Men’s Clinic and the drug’s man­u­fac­tur­ers. “This can be tough on guys who are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing for what­ever rea­son, and when they hear about a doc­tor and a men’s clinic that sounds of­fi­cial, they’re will­ing to go in and try what­ever it takes.”

A spokesman for the clinic blasted the charges and said Mr. Forkner is seek­ing a scape­goat for a prob­lem he had long be­fore en­ter­ing the clinic’s of­fices.

“The facts of this case will in­di­cate this is a base­less claim,” said spokesman Kyle Fisk.

In Jan­uary 2016, Mr. Forkner vis­ited the Alabama Men’s Clinic in Birm­ing­ham for prob­lems in main­tain­ing an erec­tion, ac­cord­ing to doc­u­ments filed in the U.S. Dis­trict Court for the North­ern Dis­trict of Alabama, ac­cord­ing to the law­suit. A clinic em­ployee of­fered a pe­nile in­jec­tion of TriMix, man­u­fac­tured by DCA Phar­macy and Olympia Compounding Phar­macy, call­ing the treat­ment safe and ef­fec­tive. Mr. Forkner says he ini­tially balked at the treat­ment be­fore the em­ployee told him of his own per­sonal sat­is­fac­tion with the prod­uct. He then agreed to a trial in­jec­tion.

“Af­ter re­ceiv­ing the ini­tial pe­nile in­jec­tion, Plain­tiff ex­pe­ri­enced a full erec­tion within 3 to 5 min­utes of re­ceiv­ing the in­jec­tion,” the law­suit states.

The erec­tion lasted two hours un­til Mr. Forkner was able to re­duce it with an ice pack.

Over the next year, Mr. Forkner took TriMix in­jec­tions, of­ten sev­eral per week, and some­times was left with erec­tions last­ing hours, called pri­apism.

Lawyers for the de­fen­dants dis­pute the 58-page law­suit’s ac­cu­sa­tions.

“There was a point in time this was a very sat­is­fied cus­tomer,” Mr. Fisk said.

Fol­low­ing an in­jec­tion of TriMix in Fe­bru­ary 2017, Mr. Forkner said his pe­nis took on a “hook-like” shape. He never used the drug again, and a urol­o­gist told him he suf­fered from Pey­ronie’s dis­ease, a curv­ing of the pe­nis af­ter the build-up of scar tis­sue.

In Au­gust, Mr. Forkner filed suit in Jef­fer­son County court in Alabama. The drug man­u­fac­turer de­fen­dants moved the le­gal battle to fed­eral court last fall.

To­bias S. Kohler, a urol­o­gist with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Min­nesota, said Mr. Forkner’s ex­pe­ri­ence is com­mon for men seek­ing viril­ity from clin­ics.

“Of­ten these ED clin­ics are not hav­ing ad­e­quate risk and ben­e­fit dis­cus­sions,” said Dr. Kohler, who is not in­volved in the law­suit. “And prob­a­bly, worse, they don’t have the re­sources and com­pli­ca­tions to know how to fix this.”

Dr. Kohler said men’s clin­ics across the coun­try op­er­ate of­ten by charg­ing “twenty times” the cost for med­i­ca­tion that urol­o­gists can ad­min­is­ter for much less.

Mr. Fisk re­jected any par­al­lel be­tween Alabama and other cases across the coun­try.

“Ev­ery med­i­cal mal­prac­tice [case] is unique,” the Alabama Men’s Clinic spokesman said.

In 2016, Mas­sachusetts’ at­tor­ney gen­eral won a court de­ci­sion to stop the Florida Men’s Clinic and Men’s Med­i­cal Group from op­er­at­ing clin­ics in the state af­ter non-med­i­cal per­son­nel gave pe­nile in­jec­tions.

A fed­eral judge will de­cide whether to con­tinue Mr. Forkner’s law­suit or re­mand it back to the state court.

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