Rejuvenu doctor now promoting pain "cure"

I got the following note from Julian Lee at MSL Medical on 3 April 2003:

</font><blockquote><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>quote:</font><hr /><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”> Dear Andrea

I have been reading your website with interest. I would appreciate it if you could answer me a few questions:

-Is Rejuvenu the worst of the lot or just one of many

-Is Mark Chandler a qualified doctor?

-Do you think that he has just failed to prove his product in a recognized and scientific manner or do you think that the product is fraudulent?

-Are there any legitimate hair removal products or are they all scams?

Many thanks for your assistance

Julian Lee
</font><hr /></blockquote><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>My response:

</font><blockquote><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>quote:</font><hr /><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”> Hi Julian–

First the bad news, then the good news…

Rejuvenu is one of many companies making unsubstantiated claims regarding permanent hair removal. One of my criteria is published clinical data, and they have avoided submitting their device to a reputable third party for testing. Although there are several other companies doing the same thing (the most famous of these is probably Removatron, which was prosecuted by the Federal Trade Commission in a landmark case), Rejuvenu has managed to involve the Food and Drug Administration. For this reason, I feel they are one of the most insidious of the unproven products out there, and one of the most aggressive in attacking those who are critical of their claims. They are also especially bad because there are two levels of victims in their business model: the practitioner who falls for their unproven claims, and the clients who are then treated by the unwitting practitioner. In the case of Removatron, FTC determined that 37.5 million dollars had been lost in 1985 alone, so you can start to get a sense of the money involved.

While Chandler is legally qualified to practice medicine, he has no specialty in dermatology, which he led the FDA to believe in 1990. Based on his unpublished reports that I’ve read, I’d characterize him as a bad clinical researcher and a pretty unsophisticated scientist. That is further evidenced by the fact that he has apparently never published a clinical report in a reputable scientific journal in his 20 years as a doctor.

Chandler has certainly failed to prove his product in a recognized and scientific manner. Their claims about permanent hair removal are certainly unsubstantiated. The device has been for sale for 15 years, and I have yet to find a consumer who can go one year after final treatment without needing supplemental hair removal. The Food and Drug Administration has warned Rejuvenu about making claims of painless and permanent, which they continue to do anyway. Given the history of electric tweezers and the myriad fraudulent claims they’ve made since 1959, I believe the evidence demonstrates that this is a sophisticated sales pitch for a fraudulent product.

Now, the good news. There are plenty of legitimate hair removing and inhibiting devices and drugs backed with published scientific data:

Intense pulsed light or flash lamp
Needle electrolysis
Eflornithine (Vaniqa)
Cyproterone acetate

There is also preliminary published evidence that topical isoflavones and drugs treating people with glucose intolerance may assist in reducing unwanted hair.

Of these, laser, IPL and needle electrolysis have demonstrated permanent results in published clinical data with varying degrees of success, when performed properly.

I hope this has answered your questions fully, but I’m happy to elaborate. It’s a pretty complicated and confusing issue. Your letter sounds as if I may be refuting statements by Dr. Chandler. Many of your questions are familiar claims and criticisms he makes. If so, I’d love to see what he had to say verbatim. Would you mind forwarding me a copy of his email? I’d appreciate it!

Let me know if I can be of any further assistance!

Take care,
Andrea </font><hr /></blockquote><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>He wrote back on 4 April 2003:

</font><blockquote><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>quote:</font><hr /><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”> Thanks Andrea

No, I am not refuting anything that Mark has said- I read your comment that he is ‘….a bad clinical researcher and a pretty unsophisticated scientist…’ with interest. That he might be unsophisticated, does not mean that he is a fraudster, it is just that his methodology is not up to the highest standard! I say this because I believe that inventors/entrepreneurs do not always have the $$millions available to them to conduct double blind thousand patient studies and sometimes have to make do with the limited resources available to them. I am not judging either you or him on this issue since I am unaware of any of the details of your battle with him, am just interested in your opinion.


Julian Lee
MSL Medical Ltd
Tel: +44 (0) 207 7314900
Fax:+44 (0) 207 7363573
[microace dot com]

My reply:

</font><blockquote><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>quote:</font><hr /><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”> Hi Julian–

Products like the Rejuvenu device and the MicroAce Programme with which you are involved are quackery, according to the definition my associate at uses.

The FDA defines health fraud as “the promotion, for profit, of a medical remedy known to be false or unproven.” This can cause confusion because in ordinary usage – and in the courts – the word “fraud” connotes deliberate deception. Quackery’s paramount characteristic is promotion (“Quacks quack!”) rather than fraud, greed, or misinformation.

Most people think of quackery as promoted by charlatans who deliberately exploit their victims. Actually, most promoters are unwitting victims who share misinformation and personal experiences with others.

To avoid semantic problems, quackery could be broadly defined as “anything involving overpromotion in the field of health.” This definition would include questionable ideas as well as questionable products and services, regardless of the sincerity of their promoters. In line with this definition, the word “fraud” would be reserved only for situations in which deliberate deception is involved.

By this definition, Chandler is definitely a quack, but not necessarily a fraud in the legal sense. What he is doing is probably illegal, but not necessarily malicious. He may be self-deluded into thinking his devices work without subjecting them to the most rudimentary scientific scrutiny. Whatever you call it, it’s harmful to consumers.

Take care,
Andrea</font><hr /></blockquote><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>