Regardless of the controversies surrounding testosterone therapy and the associated lawsuits, many people assume that there is still, at least, an actual medical condition which warrants some kind of medical treatment with testosterone. A new suit filed against Life Time Fitness, however, may call cause some to rethink that assumption.
In 2014, Life Time Fitness chose a company called Low T Center as its partner to offer testosterone therapy treatments from within the walls of its chain of fitness gyms. With more than 100 locations nationwide, the opportunity to partner with Life Time Fitness was a lucrative one for Low T Center and the two companies began making significant plans for the new offering.
According to their website, “manning up” and starting treatment with Low T Center starts with finding one of their 40 nationwide locations. The company claims to accept most insurances and offers to verify your coverage in advance of treatment. Without insurance, the service runs almost $400 per month.
It seems less than a year would go by before problems would develop with the relationship. The suit claims that Life Time Fitness failed to meet prescribed targets and did not do enough to advertise and promote the new service to its members. Low T Center also claims that Life Time Fitness was displaying advertising for competing services and products, including supplements, at its various locations.
Perhaps most damaging, however, was the advice being given by Life Time Fitness staff members to customers that were interested in the testosterone therapy treatment. The suit alleges that Life Time Fitness staff were actively advising members against the treatments and instead suggesting a focus on “all the nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle choices that help optimize testosterone.”
Were Life Time Fitness trainers and staff conflicted over the directive to sell Low T Center’s services? We know, for example, that low testosterone is not, in and of itself, an actual medical condition. Instead, it is often simply a function of the aging process. The “symptoms” that are described are normal and experienced by virtually every man as they get older. We also know that testosterone therapy has been associated, in many cases, with an increase the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients.
This hasn’t stopped pharmaceutical companies, as well as fitness facilities and private healthcare providers, from cashing in on the new “condition” and offering testosterone therapy as a “treatment” for Low-T.
Still, this case could serve to show how trivial the idea of testosterone therapy has become. When obtaining hormone replacement therapy is about as complicated as going to the gym and grabbing a smoothie, an argument must be made for a reigning in of the availability of the potentially deadly treatment.
Or, putting it another way; if the trainers and staff at Life Time Fitness saw the possible dangers to their clients and customers, shouldn’t we expect federal regulators to see the dangers posed to the rest of the general public?