Davidson County Circuit Court Judge Amanda McClendon has appointed a temporary receiver over HRC Medical Centers, Inc. and ordered the company's owners to stop making alleged unsubstantiated and misleading claims regarding its treatment programs, Attorney General Bob Cooper announced today.
HRC Medical, Don Hale and Dan Hale are prohibited from making these advertising claims about HRC's alternative regimen of "bio-identical" hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) until resolution at trial. HRC Medical Centers, Inc. has operated clinics in Nashville, Knoxville, and Memphis that have sold BHRT.
The court order places HRC Medical Centers, Inc. and its assets under control of a receiver, Nashville attorney John McLemore, who is required to ensure that it is operated in accordance with state and federal law.
The temporary injunction prohibits HRC Medical Centers, Inc., HRC Management Midwest, LLC, Don Hale, and Dan Hale from making claims that its BHRT are safe, involve no cancer risk, and have no or minimal side effects. "We are pleased with the court's ruling," Attorney General Cooper said, "and urge any consumer who has taken HRC's alternative regimen of 'bio-identical' hormone replacement therapy to contact his or her health care provider about any potential adverse health effects from the therapy as soon as possible."
The order also prevents the defendants from advertising BHRT to women unless the defendants clearly and conspicuously disclose that their therapy increases specific health risks and side effects. Among those potential risks are possible risk of developing endometrial cancer, breast cancer, blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, possible long-term or permanent disfigurement, head hair loss, permanent hair growth on one's face, chest, and buttocks, severe acne, causing a woman's voice to temporarily or permanently deepen, menstrual problems in menopausal women and psychological changes such as increased anger or aggressive behavior, and other adverse reactions.
The order prevents the defendants from advertising BHRT to men without clearly and conspicuously disclosing that their therapy increases a consumer's risk or possible risk of developing prostate cancer, developing blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, tissue edema, causing sexual dysfunction, infertility, developing enlarged breasts, head hair loss, and developing psychological changes such as increased anger or aggressive behavior and other adverse reactions.
Among other findings, the court determined the State showed: a likelihood of success on the merits of its lawsuit; that the defendants intentionally misrepresented or omitted reference to the benefits, efficacy, or known side effects and risks of HRC's BHRT, and that the defendants intentionally misrepresented unsubstantiated claims safety claims and claims that HRC's BHRT restores a user's hormones levels to that of a younger person.
The State's action was brought on behalf of the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs. To view the filings and related pleadings go to http://www.tn.gov/attorneygeneral/cases/hrc/hrc.html.
To date, the Attorney General's Office has received a significant volume of calls. While the Attorney General's Office cannot provide legal or medical advice, anyone who is concerned about possible adverse effects that may be associated with BHRT is urged to contact the Attorney General's Office at 615-741-1671.