The Federal Court has found that Advanced Medical Institute, AMI, engaged in “unconscionable conduct” by putting the hard buck above their vulnerable and limp patients.
AMI products include oral strips and nasal sprays to treat premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. They are responsible for those advertising billboards asking if you “WANT LONGER LASTING SEX?” and helping you “BONK LONGER”.
Justice Anthony North found that there was no medical proof that any of these expensive products actually helped people have better sex.
Justice North said: “The technique of frightening men by telling them of the dire adverse consequences of not agreeing to treatment and assuring them that the treatment was effective was part of the business system of AMI and NRM. It was formulated by management and imparted in an organised fashion through scripts and training sessions.”
The court heard that non-medically trained AMI staff were giving medical advice over the phone, not telling patients that their call was being monitored and often failing to tell patients about the product’s potentially dangerous side effects.
Instead vulnerable men were told that their penis would shrink and that they would suffer psychological trauma if they did not agree to the treatment.
Men who signed up were also refused refunds unless they had exhausted all possible treatments, including a self-injection into the base of their penis.
Between 2008 and 2010, AMI turned over profits of nearly $150 million. The company would charge between $2,500 and $4,000 for the treatment, treatments would often last for 12-18 months.
AMI must now ensure that consulations with doctors are face to face or via video link. A patients contract must not exceed two months, with a 14 day cancellation period.
The Federal Court also ordered AMI to compensate 14 patients, who testified during the trial, who were treated in 2011.
ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said that “This case provides a clear message that businesses must not take advantage of consumers who are vulnerable or disadvantaged. Consumer issues in the health and medical sector are a priority for the ACCC and we will not hesitate to hold businesses and responsible individuals to account for the actions,” Sims said.