A Hagerstown, Maryland, man was sentenced to serve 366 days in a state prison Thursday after he pleaded guilty to illegally distributing AndroGel, a topical testosterone replacement drug made by Abbott Laboratories.
According to the Herald-Mail, a Circuit Court Judge sentenced Timothy Allen Feigley, 33, to five years in state prison – the maximum sentence for distributing a Schedule III controlled dangerous substance, but suspended all but one year and one day. Mr. Feigey also received credit for 139 days he already served.
Additionally, Mr. Feigley will be put on probation or three years upon his release. The state dismissed two counts of possession of a controlled substance and one other distribution charge in exchange for Mr. Feigley’s plea.
A confidential informant showed the Narcotics Task Force that Mr. Feigley sold him two AndroGel purchases on April 25 and 27 of 2012 for $60 each. The informant told the Task Force that Mr. Feigley also sold steroid injection pens in addition to the testosterone drug. AndroGel and other testosterone-replacement prescription drugs such as Testim can have the same effect on users as anabolic steroids.
Sales of testosterone replacement drugs are exploding as the makers of popular topical hormone drugs such as Androgel and Testim aggressively market their products, persuading men that weight gain, low energy, sexual decline, muscle loss, and other symptoms can be fixed with testosterone drugs. As drugmakers drum up demand for their testosterone drugs, it’s likely the U.S. and other countries will see more illicit selling and buying of testosterone products for recreational and medicinal purposes without the consent of a doctor.
AndroGel is made in 1.62% and 1.0% formulas. The drug is intended for men with chronically low testosterone levels, but is prescribed more and more often as a way to boost testosterone levels instead of achieving healthy levels through diet and exercise. Men with already normal hormonal levels are using topical testosterone drugs for more recreational purposes, such as sexual enhancement aids, energy boosters, and muscle builders.
Although the gel is supposed to be used on a concealed area, usually the upper arm or shoulder, it is still relatively easy for women and children to experience the harmful effects of secondary exposure by coming into contact with the user’s skin or clothing.
Women exposed to AndroGel and other testosterone drugs may experience growth of hair in new places on the body and/or acne. Children may experience enlarged genitals, growth of pubic hair, increased erections, increased sexual desire, and aggressive behavior. While most of these symptoms typically go away after exposure to testosterone gel stops, unborn children could be permanently harmed and children’s genitals may remain larger than normal.