Im wondering if anyone's prescribing HGH as part of their anti-aging or cosmetic practices. I've looked at this before but never implemented it. It's a difficult business since, as I remember, you can't really mark up the HGH since it's a prescription. So you can only charge for physician time. Since the HGH is expensive, it leaves little room for profit.
"People come here for generally two reasons; they want to look better, and they want to feel better," Berger says.
While Berger says most of his patients are middle-aged, he's now getting calls from Hollywood 30-somethings wanting HGH and rap artists inquiring about illegal steroids, something he does not offer.
"They feel that part of being a rap star is looking buff and having big muscles, etc., so anything they can do to bring themselves to look like that is going to enhance the whole image," he says.
HGH has been used since the 1950s to help children with growth problems, but it stayed under the radar for other uses until 1990, when Dr. Daniel Rudman reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that men taking a six-month course of HGH reduced their body fat by 14.4 percent while increasing lean muscle mass by 8.8 percent.
The study included just a dozen men, but it inspired a flood of anti-aging literature touting the benefits of growth hormone, along with countless Web sites selling HGH creams and sprays.
Endocrinologists say those products, though, are worthless -- the body can use HGH only when it's injected to treat patients with HGH, Berger says they must be diagnosed with a deficiency of HGH, which happens naturally as the body ages.