Florida Oncologist Charged With Giving Cancer Patients Unapproved Drugs
A Florida oncologist has been indicted for giving cancer patients unapproved medications for chemotherapy. According to federal health officials involved with the case, the oncologist had been giving her patients drugs not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the last six years. Many of the drugs came from other countries at lower costs.
The oncologist would purchase the cheaper drugs and then bill Medicare and insurance companies for the cost of identical but more expensive American medications. Authorities claim the oncologist pocketed $700,000 by falsely billing Medicare and insurance companies.
Federal health officials are in the process of locating patients and relatives who have been treated by the oncologist since 2009. Authorities have charged the oncologist with 12 counts of health care fraud and 9 counts of receiving mislabeled drugs.
FDA officials warned the oncologist in 2012 that she had received medication from a distributor known to sell counterfeit versions of chemotherapy drugs. Obviously, the warning was ignored.
Is It Considered Medical Negligence To Prescribe Unapproved Drugs?
If the foreign drugs used to treat cancer patients are not as effective as FDA approved medications, then the doctor could have compromised her patients’ recoveries. FDA approval can take years, as medications must go through many trials before being declared safe for use.
In some foreign countries, there are lower standards for declaring medications safe for use. It is possible the oncologist committed medical negligence and put her patients’ health at risk.
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