Ohio doctors accused of importing unapproved drugs
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 14 August 2013 06:30

CLEVELAND (AP) — Seven oncologists in northeast Ohio were charged Tuesday with importing medications to treat cancer that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved.

U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach in Cleveland said in a statement that the doctors imported misbranded drugs from Canada into the U.S. and face misdemeanor charges. Conviction carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Dettelbach's office statement said that by law, a drug may be considered misbranded even if its composition is identical to one whose label and package is FDA-approved. The rule applies even if the drug was produced by the same manufacturer and in the same facility as the FDA-approved version.

The drugs allegedly obtained by the doctors included Zometa, Kytril, Taxotere, Gemzar, and Eloxatin.

The doctors and where they practice were Ranjan Bhandari, 56, Liverpool; Timmappa Bidari, 68, Parma; David Fishman, 62, Euclid; Su-Chiao Kuo, 60, Brunswick; Marwan Massouh, 54, Westlake; and Poornanand Palaparty, 62, Cleveland.

The seventh doctor, Hassan Tahsildar, 55, has practiced in Euclid, and also sees patients in Green Bay, Wis., according to the Ohio State Medical Board.

Messages were left at the offices of Bhandari, Bidari and Tahsildar. Attorneys for Kuo and Palaparty did not return requests for comment. Fishman declined to comment through an assistant.

Massouh's attorney, Stephen Sozio, said he could not comment on specifics of the case.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


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