Jacksonville Clinic’s ED Treatment Ads debacle

The Florida Men’s Medical Clinic prefers confidentiality. Call up its Salisbury Road office, and you’ll be greeted by a voice that identifies the business simply as a “doctor’s office.”

That air of secrecy extends to the clinic’s advertising, it would seem. Ads on the web and in newspapers, including The Florida Times-Union, speak highly of the erectile dysfunction treatment. They promise, among other things, a successful erection in men for whom popular pills such as Viagra don’t work and multiples climaxes from the same erection.

And if you don’t “respond” to the treatment on the first visit, the visit’s free.

“With that guarantee,” the ads say, “local patients have nothing to lose.”

The ads, however, don’t specify what kind of treatment they’re using. Well, judging by the clinic’s purported outcomes and use of “custom blends” of medicines, it appears that the clinic is giving men what’s known as intracavernous injections.

What the ads leave out: This involves a shot into the side of the penis, which can be painful for some men. And it can get expensive rather fast, as the injections are needed for each erection and a bottle containing five to 15 doses costs about $80.

Much like other ED drugs, the medicine causes the blood vessels to dilate. Some men are unable to take Viagra and its ilk because the drugs cause blood flow to increase all over, creating potential conflicts with existing health problems. The intracavernous injections, though, only affect the penis, tamping down such issues.

An advertorial linked to on the clinic’s home page quotes its lead doctor, Kevin Hornsby of Celebration, as boasting a 98 percent success rate in helping men regain sexual function.

It’s difficult to appraise that statement without knowing Hornsby’s exact methods or, for that matter, how he defines regaining sexual function. But his number parallels those of at least one study conducted on intracavernous injections.

A 2002 Israeli study found a 94 percent success rate in an analysis of about 100 patients (“success” being defined as a penis erect enough for vaginal penetration). But only about three out of five of the men experienced an erection after the first shot.

Only after two additional shots with different formulations — each more painful than the one preceding — did 94 percent see success.

Hornsby’s business is now a chain that includes at least three sites in Florida and one each in Georgia, New York and Pennsylvania. I left a message for him last week in New York, where I had been told he was working, but have yet to hear back.

Author: Jeremy Cox

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