The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted legal proceedings against Advanced Medical Institute Pty Ltd (AMI) and its Managing Director, Mr Jacov Vaisman, alleging false, misleading and deceptive conduct in relation to the advertising and promotion of treatments for erectile dysfunction (impotence) and premature ejaculation.
AMI, which also trades under the business names Australian Momentum Health, Health Services for Men and Impotency Anonymous, operates approximately 40 clinics in capital cities and regional centres around Australia.
The ACCC has alleged that AMI has breached sections 52, 53(a), 53(aa), 53(c), 53(g), 55 and 55A of the Trade Practices Act 1974 by making representations about the nature, suitability and effectiveness of impotence and erectile dysfunction treatments in the print media, on television and in other promotional material.
Specifically, the ACCC has alleged that a number of AMI’s representations are likely to have misled prospective patients about the treatments offered by AMI, including alleged representations such as:
- "No Needles or Tablets Involved" when in reality the ACCC alleges the treatments actually offered to many patients involved the use of needles and tablets
- "Suitable for men of all ages and with almost any medical condition" when in reality the ACCC alleges erectile dysfunction is actually less responsive to treatment in older men and men with certain medical conditions
- "Guaranteed Results" when in reality the ACCC alleges treatments for impotence and erectile dysfunction do not have results that can be guaranteed
- "No performance - no charge" when in reality the ACCC alleges refunds were often not provided to patients after treatments did not perform as represented by AMI
- "Doctors recommend the twelve month programme as it is the most beneficial for a cure" when in reality the ACCC alleges there is no evidence to suggest that a 12 month course of injection therapy is more likely to provide a cure than programs of a shorter duration.
The ACCC has also alleged that the IntraGlans Gel treatment has been promoted by AMI as both simple and convenient to use and acting in just five to 10 minutes when this is not the case. The ACCC has also alleged that the IntraGlans Gel has been marketed to patients without adequate disclosure of the contraindications of using this treatment and potential side effects of the treatment.
The ACCC has also alleged that claims made by AMI in recent newspaper advertisements regarding a new form of oral treatment for premature ejaculation and treatments which can assist in increasing erection size are false or misleading.
The ACCC is seeking court orders including:
- declarations that AMI and Mr Vaisman have breached the relevant provisions of the Act
- injunctions preventing AMI and Mr Vaisman from engaging in such conduct in the future
- corrective newspaper and television advertisements
- refunds to patients who were misled by the representations made by AMI and did not receive the service or results as represented
- community service orders requiring AMI to provide accurate information concerning the causes, nature and treatment of impotence and erectile dysfunction to the relevant section of the community, namely men who suffer from such medical conditions
- orders that AMI disclose details of the failure rates and contraindications of all forms of treatment to all future or prospective patients, prior to those patients committing to receive any treatment at AMI clinics
- implementation of a trade practices compliance program
A directions hearing for this matter is listed before Justice Whitlam for 6 June 2002 in the Federal Court, Sydney.
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