Male Enhancement Supplements — Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act

The Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act (DASCA) was passed in 2014 to combat the problem of chemically altered versions of anabolic steroids being used in dietary supplements. Supplements, such as muscle-builders or bodybuilding enhancements, marketed as “all natural” dietary supplements actually contained potentially harmful anabolic steroids. Manufacturers would “tweak” the chemical compound of an anabolic steroid to avoid the list of controlled substances so they could use the compound in their supplement. Consumers purchasing the dietary supplement may have believed they were receiving a natural supplement when in fact they were dosing themselves with steroids.

DASCA closed the loophole that allowed manufacturers to get away with this process by expanding the list of anabolic steroids regulated by the DEA and adding new laws making it illegal to falsely label steroids. Manufacturers were previously able to escape the FDA approval process because they claimed the product as a nutritional or dietary supplement. By adding the designer anabolic steroids to the controlled substance list, the law effectively closed the loophole that many companies were using.

In addition to criminal allegations, companies that mislabeled their products or failed to disclose steroids or steroid-like substances as ingredients can be subject to civil lawsuits by consumers.

Male Enhancement Supplements Containing Prescription Drugs

In a similar situation, some of the sexual enhancement supplements or male enhancement supplements sold as dietary supplements have been found to contain prescription drugs. Labeled as “all-natural alternatives” or “all-natural” supplements, some of these dietary supplements actually contained tadalafil or sulfosildenafil.

Tadalafil or sulfosildenafil are analogues of the active ingredient in a prescription medication to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). The potential side effects of the prescription medication include irregular heartbeat, seizures, symptoms of a heart attack, and sudden loss of vision. In some cases, a consumer could suffer life-threatening side effects when unknowingly combining the male enhancement supplement with other medication he was taking.

Because the dietary supplements were not labeled correctly to disclose this information, consumers could potentially put themselves in life-threatening situations by taking them. In addition to the dangers of including components that are not disclosed to the consumer, many of the male enhancement supplements were not as effective as claimed. In some cases, companies promised that the dietary supplement was a breakthrough, or was scientifically proven to work, even though there were no independent studies or trials to back up the promises.

Who is Responsible for Damages Caused by Male Enhancement Supplements?

If a consumer is injured after using a product, the consumer can pursue a personal injury claim under product liability laws. One or more parties may be named in the lawsuit, including the manufacturer, distributor, and retailer of the dietary supplement.

Because distributors may be responsible for advertisement or packaging, if they fail to disclose all information or they add a false advertisement, they can be held liable. Likewise, if a retailer purchases the supplement to package it under a store brand, the retailer could be named in the lawsuit. All parties involved in making and selling the dietary supplement must take steps to ensure they comply with all federal and state laws.