Readers of our Eugene medical malpractice blog may be interested to learn the facts surrounding an oncologist that treated patients with unapproved foreign cancer drugs. The doctor recently pleaded guilty to several charges, including purchasing a cancer drug from Canada. In addition to treating his patients with unapproved foreign drugs, he also fraudulently billed Medicare around $1.7 million.
He has since been sentenced to a year of probation and his medical practice was ordered to pay a $500,000 fine. He is also required to forfeit $1.2 million and make restitution payments to Medicare for the amount that was fraudulently billed. The oncologist's medical license has not been revoked at this time. The decision as to revocation is up to the California Medical Board. However, his practice is on probation for a year. The probationary period allows officers to examine the company's records at anytime and conduct searches.
At least one family of the patient is considering filing a complaint against the oncologist. They claim that the doctor was so preoccupied by his legal troubles that he negligently treated their family member. That individual had cirrhosis of the liver. The family claims that the doctor ignored the condition, and that it turned deadly for their family member.
The case demonstrates the many forms that medical malpractice and hospital negligence can take. This type of negligence at the hands of doctors and other health care workers can have serious and deadly consequences. Patients can suffer permanent injury and require long-term care as a result of malpractice. In the most serious of cases, patient death may occur. The law provides civil remedies for victims of malpractice.
Source: U-T San Diego, "No jail for cancer doc in drug fraud," Kristina Davis, July 3, 2013