TRT and Medical Information Privacy

Reg Dunlop

New member
To start off, I will admit that I "lurk" the boards fairly often but seldom post if ever as my post count will support. I actually mostly "lurk" when I have a pressing question that I need answered and most times a quick and simple thread search will result in finding the necessary information that I happen to be looking for at that time.

The main reason that I have decided to post this time is in hopes that my experience can help others in similar situations as many threads have given me insight on many situations in the past and this seems like the logical way to "give back".

I'll start at the beginning.

A few months ago, I went in to the doctors for blood tests. After receiving my results from my blood work from the lab (I specifically asked for both a mailed copy and had the Dr office receptionist print off my results as well) I haphazardly went through my results. The knowledge gained from these types of threads allowed me to ascertain that my Testosterone results of 239 were below the normal threshold limits for hypogonadism.

When I questioned my doctor about my Test levels and results, he stated that this was not his area of expertise but he could refer me to an endocrinologist which would require a 6-8 month wait. Not being satisfied with this response, I again turned to the boards.

When I came across the TRT threads and in particular, IMT, I have to be completely honest, I was more than a little skeptical based on a few threads that I had read about some individuals not receiving shipments. The reasoning seemed legit enough but still... it is the internet and you never really know. After reading about some others that had received their shipments after the "network" change, I was a little bit more comfortable but some scepticism still remained. I thought "what the hell", I'll give it it a try.

I had a verbal conversation with Todd and he stated what medical information that they needed from me. I sent in all the required medical information and sent it in. I also remember asking him specifically about my medical privacy and at that time he stated that it was more than safe which was extremely reassuring.

Since my Test levels were so low, it was deemed that I had a medical necessity for TRT. Fast forward a couple of days later and I received my prescription on time and all was good.

Now let me explain the paranoia that Todd had to manage during this entire process lol. I work for a fairly large corporation in a management capacity. The type of corporation, as most all corporations, that views the "bottom line" with scrutiny. An extremely process driven corporation. That is to say that what ever issue or problem comes along, it is most often dealt with through some sort of process or procedure. Legal liability and due diligence often walk hand in hand in this type of environment.

As a result of unforeseen circumstances, I had to travel by plane to work. Air travel with this type of prescription, specifically Testosterone, given the stigma and reputation that it has, gave me worry. I asked Todd and re-asked and asked again, "am I all good to travel both domestically and internationally with my prescription?" And each time he stated "Yes, it will be no issue" Yes, it is a legit prescription and you won't have any issues" and so in and so forth. I am certain that at some point he must have been on the edge of patients with me as I know I would have been if put in the same situation lol.

When it came to international travel and customs, no issues. But..... when I had to travel domestically, in particular on a company jet, my prescription was called into question. The corporate security guard would not let me board the plane that day. I briefly explained to my boss the situation and he rebooked me on another flight but since my prescription was in question, I choose to leave it home for the second flight.

While I was at work, I received 2 call from two different HR specialist asking about my airport "incident" and the Testosterone that was found in my possession. I stated at the time that I was at work and I did not have the time to speak to this issue as we were dealing with a regional emergency. They asked me to call them back when I had time to explain. I ended up flying home that day.

Once at home, I received a call from our corporate nurse asking about the same "incident". It was stated that I "may need to be on modified duties" as this type of "steroid hormone" could make people "aggressive" in nature. Through the next 4 weeks, I voluntarily provided to her:

my diagnosis
the types of medications that I was prescribed
my blood work results showing medical necessity
the actual prescriptions

My second last correspondence with this nurse, she "demanded" that I have my Doctor fill out a Physician Assessment Form, which did not bother me all that much as I fully understand and appreciate the fact that she has a job to do and responsibilities that come along with that job. What bothered me was the second form that she wanted filled out which was a Full consent for Collection, Use and Disclosure of Medical Information.

This particular form, if signed, stated that I would consent to my employer contacting my doctor with regards to my medical information for the next year and that it could be shared with HR, labour unions, my supervisors and "others" on a "need to know" basis. I was most definitely not ok with this. It further stated that I understand the consequences of signing this particular consent form and the consequences of not signing it.

The consequences of signing it was the immediate and permeant loss of medical privacy, which is a basic human right. I was never told what the consequences of not signing would be.

After researching up on human rights and medical information privacy, it became apparent that this invasive form not only challenged but actually infringed upon my human and privacy rights. I also found a subsection that stated that employers are not allowed to ask for consent to medical information unless the illness was "employment related" hence why modified duties was brought into the equation by the employer. After thinking about having to be on modified duties due to a hormone imbalance, I asked my self, why are all women then not on modified duties on a monthly basis? Why are women who are on birth control pills not on modified duties as this pill contains a combination of estrogen and progesterone, both of which are "steroid hormones".

I promptly drafted up an email that referenced the various sections and subsections of the Human Rights legislation and how they applied to this particular situation. I also denied the request for collection, use and disclosure of medical information although I did provide them with Physician Assessment form as under the medical privacy act, it does stipulate that a "reasonable effort be made to provide cooperation in the process" I felt the voluntary information that I provided exceeded what the legislation stated I needed to provide in this type of situation.

I received a response back that this case was finalized and all was good.

On an ending note, I would like to empirically state that IMT and Todd in particular not only provided me additional medical support in a timely fashion(signed and filled out Physician Assessment report) but also maintained my medical privacy in this situation. It should be noted that I have a legitimate medical necessity along with a legitimate prescription and did nothing wrong in this situation, I would caution those who wish to "cut corners" and have the expectation that the medical support given by IMT and Todd may get them out of a similar bind to tread carefully. In my case it was the medical information that did the "talking", I only managed and controlled the release of said medical information and limited it to what was pertinent to my situation.

I only hope that this helps some one else some day understand their medical privacy rights who may find themselves in a similar situation.


Thank for posting this Reg and I am glad you were able to straighten them out. Lots of misinformation out there about TRT.
Im not sure how IMT works, and nothing against them, but with my bottle of cyp, the perscription information is printed on the bottle. The corporate security guard had no right to call into question the vial of testosterone if the prescription information was on the vial.

With some medical equipment such as a CPAP a letter of medical necissity signed and dated by a doctor is needed. However I have never had any problem flying with my CPAP machine. I will be flying with my vial of test. As an added precaution maybe such a letter could be obtained for a bottle of test.
Wow. I seriously applaud you for standing up like this. You're 100% correct in that they simply need the physician's assessment form, be able to verify that the script is for a valid medical need, and be done with it.

Once again stigma and undereducated folks in charge collide with medical fact. Would they have stopped you if you had a vial of insulin? Or your perfect example of birth control pills if female? I'd wager not.

I find it odd that it's okay socially to discuss drinks after work (or during a lunch meeting), but if a person NEEDS a hormone to keep functioning - that's taboo. Hopefully you set quite the precedence at your employer, and the next guy that finds himself in this position will have your hard work behind him.

+1 for the good guys!

Thank you for posting this, I think it really helps folks understand WHY having a legitimate script is so important, and just how ridiculous business policy can be. :)
The bottle it self is labeled but the actual prescription is on the box containing the dosage, batch etc etc. The vials in the labeled box matched the information contained in the prescription.

A logical and rational person would be easily able to conclude that there was no wrong doing going on.

My personal thoughts on this are, it was the type of medication, in particular the testosterone. The security guard was not concerned with the hcg or any of the other compounds, only the test.

We discussed a letter of necessity but after flying Internationally, I felt that would most likely not be needed in a domestic flight situation.

At the end of the day, I had no issue with the physician assessment form but the consent form was a massive "over reach" in my opinion and hence why I decided to not sign it.

My thoughts exactly.

I do believe that this issue is most likely the first that they have had to deal with any thing like this and hence the gap in corporate comprehension on their part.

I also believe that a legitimate prescription is a necessary evil for lack of s better term and helps provide a level of security and legitamacy that can not be duplicated by self medicating.

Also, pretty sure my example of birth control and the contained compounds of such a medication gave them a lot to think about not only from a modified duties perspective but also from a gender inequality perspective. That is to say, if a male is required to go in modified duties for taking hormones, so should female employees which in my estimation would be a significantly higher number.