Be Wary of Russell Roby, M.D.
and the Roby Institute

Stephen Barrett, M.D.

Russell R. Roby, M.D., J.D., who operates the Roby Institute in Austin, Texas, would like you to believe that he is "a pioneer in the fields of hormone allergy and hormone therapy treatment." In 2008, the institute's Web site stated:

Through years of trials, tests, research and results, Dr. Roby has found that the human body may in fact develop an actual allergy to its own hormones. These allergies often result in hormone imbalance, weight gain, fatigue, pain (fibromyalgia, arthritis, interstitial cystitis), asthma, and other symptoms that greatly diminish an individual’s quality of life. Dr. Roby’s use of sublingual dilutions of hormone solutions to neutralize and treat these symptoms has resulted in countless individuals living pain-free for the first time in years. Relief occurs within seconds of the administration of the proper dilution using Dr. Roby’s methods. The sublingual dilutions may be self-administered at home, reducing the need for visits to the doctor’s office. The dilutions are tailored to the patient’s individual needs and monitored regularly to help the patient achieve optimal health [1].

The site also stated:

One of the treatments involves the use of homeopathic dilutions of substances patients are reacting to in an allergic fashion. For the last one hundred years physicians have used very weak solutions of the very substances they suspected of causing the reaction, to stop the reaction they are suspected of causing. Conventional allergists use dilutions of up to 1:1,000,000 parts, as do Pan American Allergy Society physicians. I have found far weaker dilutions to be amazingly effective not only in diagnosing a wide variety of symptoms, but also in quickly reversing these symptoms [2].

Roby has received a patent for "methods and composition for the treatment of pain and other hormone-allergy-related symptoms using dilute hormone solutions." [3] In 2008, his Web site stated that he had about ten more patents pending or "under study and review" for treating multiple sclerosis, autoimmune diseases, obesity and several other conditions [4]. However, in 2012, my search with Google Patents found only four that had been filed in 2005 or 2006 and were still pending. Patents can be granted for inventions and procedures that differ from previous patents. However, evidence of effectiveness is not required, so the granting of a patent do not mean that its methods work.

Despite his "years of trials, tests, and research," Roby has had only four reports in scientific journals during the past 35 years. One report, published in 2006, concluded that antibodies exist to estrogen and progesterone and that "this leads to the possibility of treating a wide variety of disorders by determining hormone allergy and initiating desensitization." [5] The study involved blood tests performed by a laboratory that does nonstandard testing and was cited by state authorities for inadequate quality control. (The lab's director was a co-author of the article.) Even if such allergies exist, there's no logical reason to believe that Roby's "hormone neutralization therapy" could cure them. The other three reports, published in 1979, concerned a 12-month investigation of the incidence of fungal spores in the homes of allergic patients in an agricultural community.

Disciplinary Actions

Roby has an extensive history of disciplinary actions.

In 2006, the Texas Medical Board filed a complaint which stated:

In 2007, the board fined Roby $15,000 and placed him on four years' probation with advertising and practice restrictions. The provisions include:

In 2011 the board determined that Roby had entered into a sexual relationship with a patient, violated a 2007 agreed order by not disclosing all the ingredients in a non-FDA-approved formulation (sublingual allergy drops) he had used, failed to use diligence in his practice, and did not maintain adequate medical records. Roby and the board then entered into an agreed order under which he was publicly reprimanded, ordered to pay a $3,000 administrative penalty, and required to (a) complete the medical record-keeping and professional boundaries course offered by the University of California San Diego Physician Assessment and Clinical Education (PACE) Program, (b) complete eight hours of contimuing medical education courses in ethics, (c) continue getting treated for bipolar disorder, (d) and demonstrate to the board that his written media, commercials, advertisements and other materials are in strict compliance with the disclosure requirement of his 2007 agreed order [10].

References

  1. Dr. Russell R. Roby granted patent for the treatment of hormone allergy. March 26, 2007. Roby Institute press release, March 26, 2007.
  2. Roby R. Methods and composition for the treatment of pain and other hormone-allergy-related symptoms using dilute hormone solutions. Patent No. 7,179,798, Feb 20, 2007.
  3. Our patents. Roby Institute Web site accessed Oct 22, 2007.
  4. Roby RR, Richardson RH, Vojdani A. Hormone allergy. American Journal of Reproductive Immunology 55:307-313, 2006.
  5. Board order. In the matter of Russell R. Roby, M.D. before the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners. July 28, 1989.
  6. Agreed order. In the matter of the complaint against Russell R. Roby, M.D. before the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners. Entered Dec 10, 2004.
  7. Complaint. In the matter of the complaint against Russell R. Roby, M.D. before the Texas Medical Board. Filed April 26, 2006.
  8. Mediated agreed order. In the matter of the complaint against Russell R. Roby, M.D. before the Texas Medical Board. Entered Aug 27, 2007.
  9. Agreed order. In the matter of the complaint against Russell R. Roby, M.D. before the Texas Medical Board. Entered June 3, 2011.

This article was revised on April 2, 2012.

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