I am a 72 year old retired pensioner living in the republic of Panama. The purpose of this post is to bring to your attention my experiences with an individual by the name of Michael Orlin Sigler, a US citizen, who goes by the title Dr. Michael O. Sigler MD, Executive Director at Live Well Pharmaceuticals Inc., and founder of Age Management Panama. My intention is to also bring to light the lack of action of the Panamanian authorities regarding matters of public health and safety, as it relates to my experience with Mr. Sigler, and his companies.
I first met with Mr. Sigler in person for a medical consultation in March of 2013. During the consultation, my entire medical history and current medications, which include medications to treat diabetes, high blood pressure, and coronary heart disease, were discussed with him. My health information was also documented on a 26 page Medical Health Assessment Form, which I filled out and returned to him.
During this meeting, Mr. Sigler confirmed to me that he was in fact a medical doctor and surgeon, that he had practiced medicine in the US, and that he used to perform several bypass surgeries a day at Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami, FL. He also explained to me that the drugs he prepares were brought in from China, and compounded at the Live Well Pharmaceuticals compounding factory in Panama. He went on, at lengths, about how the drugs he would prescribe to me would improve my quality of life. He also assured me that the drugs would make me feel better, and even promised to return all of my money if the drugs did not work as intended.
After several hours in the consultation, Mr. Sigler provided me with a prescription, listing all of the drugs he would supply. He went on to explain that the prescription could be used to legally bring the drugs into the United States and other countries.
• Sermorelin: 0.2 ml daily, 5 times/week
• HCG 5000iu: 0.2 ml daily, 5 times/week
• IGF LR3 100mcg: 0.2 ml daily, 5 times/week
• Mechano Growth Factor 2000mcg: 0.2 ml daily, 5 times/week
• GW501516: 2mg daily, 7 times/week
• DHEA Capsules: 75mg twice daily, 7 times/week
• Natural Thyroid: 2 grain 125mg, once daily, 7 times/week
• Anavar: 25mg daily, 7 times/week
• Oxytocin: 2ml daily, 7 times/week
• Testosterone Cypionate 250mg.ml: 1ml, 2 times/week
• Anatrazole: 1mg twice daily, 7 times/week
• Testosterone Undecanoate 250mg/ml
After my consultation, I began doing some research in order to learn more about the drugs I had been supplied. I read an alert published by the World Anti-Doping Agency, regarding one of the drugs I was supplied called, GW501516. The alert stated that GW501516 was a “black market substance”, that the side effects of taking this substance are very serious, and that it was a developmental drug, which was withdrawn from research by the pharmaceutical company and terminated when serious toxicities were discovered in pre-clinical studies. I questioned Mr. Sigler, on several occasions, about this drug. I asked him specifically if he knew about the alert regarding the drug, if he was aware of any possible side effects or risks this drug could pose to my health, and as to whether or not it was safe for me to continue taking it. His response to me was, “this product was recommended for obesity”, and that I should “continue” taking it. Below you will find an image of Mr. Sigler's response, and images of the GW501516 drug that I was given, which states "For Oral Administration" on the label.
• Blister-like formations on skin (largest 2 inches in diameter);
• Reddish tone to the skin on his forearms;
• Swelling of feet;
• Trouble breathing;
• Trouble getting to sleep and maintaining sleep;
• Suicidal thoughts;
• Intense fatigue sluggishness throughout the day;
• Frequent headaches, most severe during the mornings after waking, and consistent throughout the day with less severity; and,
• Weight gain: 8lbs in 1 week, 14lbs in 2 weeks, 30lbs in 3 weeks.
I informed Mr. Sigler of my condition 1 week after beginning the drugs, and explained to him that the drugs were making me very ill. I requested my money back, as per the promise he made to me if the drugs did not work as intended. He responded by recommending that I continue taking all of the drugs at half of the original dose. He also offered to set up an appointment with a doctor by the name Dr. Temistocles Diaz Lezcano (Dr. Diaz), which Mr. Sigler claimed had extensive knowledge of the types of drugs he supplied to me, and who would be able to provide clarification as to why I was feeling the way I was.
I accepted Mr. Sigler’s offer and visited Dr. Diaz on April 10, 2013. Dr. Diaz’s recommendation to me was that I, first, immediately discontinue all the drugs I had been supplied from Mr. Sigler. Secondly, that I should increase my regular dosage of Furosimide, by double, until the swelling in my feet went down, and my breathing improved. Third, that I continue on with my regular regimen of medications, as, according to him, it will make me feel better. It was at this point where I felt that I could conclude, with enough certainty, that the drugs, which I had been taking at the recommendation of Mr. Sigler, were in fact causing serious harm to my health and well-being.
I informed Mr. Sigler of the recommendation from Dr. Diaz, and his response to me was that I should still continue taking the drugs at half the original dosage.
Since my experience with Mr. Sigler, and the effects on my health, I have been examined by several doctors, both in Panama and the UK. In speaking with medical professionals, I have learned that a person in my state of health should never take the drugs Michael provided to me, as they would pose a serious risk to my health and well-being.
The information, and medical advice that I received from several licensed medical professionals regarding the matter, confirms that the drugs I was supplied by Mr. Sigler, were directly linked to the rapid and dangerous deterioration of my health. What frightens me the most, is that even after being provided with a 26 page Medical Health Assessment Form on my current and past medical conditions, as well as after being advised by Dr. Diaz, Mr. Sigler still recommended that I continue taking the drugs he supplied. Had I continued, as per his recommendation, I fear I would have certainly caused myself permanent damage, or worse, I fear I would have died.
My experience with Mr. Sigler prompted me to begin doing some additional research into him in order to confirm his claim to be a medical doctor, and his claim to be affiliated with other medical agencies/organizations. A video (seen below) on his website (http://www.agemanagementpanama.com), which has recently been removed from the internet, says he was “trained as a surgeon at Mount Sinai in Miami”, and “spent 3 years at the Cenegenics Medical Institute and the University of Miami School of medicine”, and that he “now works at an International Medical Center associated with John Hopkins”.
As I mentioned previously, during my consultation with Mr. Sigler, he said he used to perform several bypass surgeries a day at Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami. However, I have recently confirmed that Mr. Sigler does not have a license to practice medicine in Panama. I also received confirmation that he is not affiliated with Cenegenics Medical Institute, or Hospital Punta Pacifica, or John Hopkins Medical Institute, or Mount Sinai in any manner. Below is an image of the document I received from the state, confirming that Mr. Sigler is not licensed to practice medicine in Panama, as well as images of the confirmations I received from the various organizations confirming that share no affiliation with Mr. Sigler.
As Mr. Sigler does not have a license to practice medicine in Panama, as he makes himself out to appear, it follows that he did not have the authority to administer a medical consultation, as well as prescribe, and supply me the drugs that he did.
Furthermore, Mr. Sigler has no affiliation with the agencies/organizations that he referred to in the consultation with me, as well as not having any affiliation to the agencies/organizations he refers to in the marketing of his business.
In addition, as I stated earlier, Mr. Sigler provided me with a prescription for the treatments he supplied to me. The prescription I was provided was stamped and signed. I originally thought that the stamp and signature were that of Mr. Sigler, but it wasn’t until I started questioning his credibility, that I noticed that the stamp and signature belonged to a doctor by the name of Dr. Karla K. Montoya G. (Dra. Montoya), who was not present at the time the prescription was written and provided to me. As I understand, it is an offence to prescribe treatments to anyone if you are not licensed to do so. Furthermore, administering prescriptions with the stamp and signature of a doctor who is not present is also an act I understand is prohibited. I questioned Mr. Sigler regarding the prescription, and Dra. Montoya, but I received no response from him regarding the subject. Below is a copy of the prescription Mr. Sigler gave to me.
I then continued my research by verifying the reliability of Mr. Sigler’s claim that the drugs he supplies can be legally brought into the United States. I confirmed that travelling into the US with controlled substances is a violation of US law unless certain requirements are met, which include, but are not limited to the following:
• The drug is imported from a licensed pharmacy for personal use by an individual, not for resale, in quantities that do not exceed a 90-day supply;
• The drug is accompanied by a copy of a valid prescription; and
• The drug is a prescription drug approved by the Secretary;
My next step was to verify if Mr. Sigler’s companies, and the drugs they supply meet the requirements in order to allow their customers to legally travel into the United States with their products. I learned that Live Well Pharmaceuticals is neither authorized nor registered by the FDA, and that some of the substances sold by Live Well Pharmaceuticals are not prescription drugs that are approved by the FDA. In addition to possibly not being provided with a valid prescription, this means that I would be in violation of law, on various accounts, and thus arrested and charged, if I had attempted to bring the drugs, which Mr. Sigler supplied, into the US. The research I have done so far, regarding this concern, indicates that Mr. Sigler’s claim, that I can legally travel into the US with his drugs, was also untrue.
In my search for more answers, I came across information on the internet that stated that Mr. Sigler has a criminal record in the United States. After looking into the matter further, I eventually confirmed that Michael was convicted in Santa Rosa, Florida, and pleaded no contest, for drug trafficking. Discovering this fact really helped explain, and put into context my experience with Mr. Sigler. There is no other word other than criminal, which can be used to describe Mr. Sigler’s business practices/ethics, and treatment towards me. In my opinion, Mr. Sigler should be in prison solely based on his conduct in my case, not to mention all the other people that may have been victimized by him over the years.
I am appalled, and extremely concerned that a criminal has been operating a pharmaceutical drug company in Panama, with little to no regulation to safeguard the well-being of the general public.
I recently read an article online regarding an incident that occurred in Panama, where hundreds of people died due to taking tainted drugs provided by the Panamanian government, which were imported from Asia. As I mentioned earlier, Mr. Sigler explained to me that he was using the Free Trade Zone in Panama to receive, and ship his drugs. He specifically told me that he received some of the drugs in granulate form from China, and would compound them into capsules in his compounding factory in Panama. I fear the same lack of oversight may be occurring in my case, only a few years after lack of oversight lead to the circulation of tainted drugs in Panama. I would have thought that after the occurrence of such a tragic incident, that the Panamanian authorities would have become much more vigilant in terms of the control and oversight of pharmaceuticals entering the country, so as to prevent a similar incident from happening again.
However, as I have learned, the tainted drug incident had little to no impact on the way the Panamanian authorities approach matters regarding the pharmaceutical market in their country. In May 2013, I brought all of these concerns to the attention of the Ministry of Health in Panama, who are responsible for processing and investigating these sorts of claims, but 5 months have passed, and I have not received a reply from them regarding the issue. I have called them once every week since submitting the claim, and I have only been told that they can confirm having received the claim, but cannot provide any additional information, and that I should continue to call back every week.
I also brought my concerns to the Panamanian National Police, but I was told that they would not accept my complaint unless the Ministry of Health first investigated, and issued an official report on the matter.
I have reached a point of paralysation in terms of my options in receiving any form of justice for the illegal and dangerous conduct that I have become a victim of. As we speak, my complaint is sitting on the desk of some representative at the Ministry of Health being ignored, while Mr. Sigler continues to conduct business, and endanger lives.
I am baffled at how something so blatantly dangerous and illegal can occur, and receive no attention/interest from the authorities who are responsible for policing these offences. In theory, anyone could come to Panama and start a pharmaceutical company, operate fraudulently, provide untested, and potentially dangerous drugs to people, and nobody would do anything about it.
I also learned that the lack of action also extended to the banks and creditors, which were used to complete my transaction with Mr. Sigler. At the point of sale, I was informed that Visa was accepted as a form of payment for the drugs and services rendered. At the time, knowing that I could pay by Visa gave me peace of mind thinking that I would receive certain protections against fraud and illegal transactions. As I understand, businesses are thoroughly vetted, and must meet the requirements of Visa’s operating Regulations, before being grated the ability to use Visa as a method of charging clients, and maintain compliance with these regulations as it relates to Visa transactions. I brought my concerns to my credit card bank, CrediCorp. They filed a claim on my behalf, and the claim was denied, based on the sole fact that I signed the credit card voucher. All of the other facts involved in the case were ignored by my bank. When I questioned my bank about the resolution, I was told that the decision came directly from Visa’s corporate office.
I then brought the claim to Visa’s board of directors, who initially agreed to look at the claim. Very shortly after bringing the claim to their attention, I was told that the decision to deny my claim came directly from my bank, that the decision was final, and that they would no longer participate in a dialogue with me about the matter.
It is also important to note, that the bank who issued the Visa point of sale account to Live Well Pharmaceuticals is Banco General in Panama. I also brought this issue to their attention several times, but received absolutely no response from them whatsoever.
Visa’s international operating regulations clearly state that “A member must comply with applicable laws or regulations", that "a transaction must be legal in both the Cardholder's jurisdiction and the Merchant Outlet's jurisdiction”; and that "in the event of any conflict between the Visa International Operating Regulations and any applicable laws or regulations, the requirements of the laws or regulations govern". The regulations also state that "an Acquirer must not knowingly accept from a Merchant for submission into the Visa payment system, any transaction that is illegal or that the Merchant should have known was illegal”; and that “the Merchant is responsible for its employees' actions”.
Despite having presented all of the information regarding my case to my bank, the merchants bank, and Visa Inc., which clearly showed that the transaction that took place between me and Live Well Pharmaceuticals, was facilitated illegally and fraudulently, on various levels, my concerns again fell upon deaf ears.
The fact that Mr. Sigler has been able to push his drugs, and not face any sort of recourse for his actions is absolutely terrifying to me, and I encourage everyone to be cautious when seeking medical advice or purchasing drugs from anyone in Panama. There is no way of confirming if a person is or is not a licensed medical practitioner in this country, there are virtually no regulatory safeguards in place to protect you from tainted drugs or medical fraud, and there is practically no consumer protection protocols in place to protect people from being swindled out of their money. I understand now that the inefficiency of the government and financial institutions in Panama is ideal for criminals to exploit for their personal gain, at the expense of your health.
I ask that you review this post and provide your thoughts and assistance in this matter. If you cannot help, I would appreciate any recommendations you may have regarding who I may contact to seek further help.
I hope I have provided you with enough information. Please feel free to contact me at any time if you have any questions, or if you require additional information.
UPDATE: If you would like to read the most recent info on this case, I have published an important update on April 8, 2014, which you can view by visiting the following link: http://harmfuldrugs.blogspot.com/2014/04/exposing-criminal-michael-o-sigler-live.html