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NOT WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED:
FBI Exposes Prostate Cancer Drug Scam

09/30/03

Prescription fraud graphicOn September 22, a Florida doctor pled guilty to watering down, and in some cases withholding completely, a drug he'd told dozens of his prostate cancer patients would prolong their lives. Meanwhile, he billed them and their insurance companies for a full dose of the expensive drug, called Lupron. Fortunately, the doctor's scheme to enrich himself by reselling the unused doses -- to the tune of $1.5 million -- was uncovered and stopped by the FBI before he could cause substantial harm to his patients. Lupron does not cure prostate cancer, but is believed to slow its growth by lowering levels of the hormone testosterone.

What tipped investigators off? The urologist's employees became suspicious when one found an unopened box of Lupron hidden under the doctor's desk after a patient had supposedly received his injection. Blood tests conducted on patients after they had visited the doctor for treatment showed that as many as 32 of them had not received the proper dosage.

In pleading guilty to 59 of the 60 counts of healthcare fraud and illegal distribution of prescription drugs, the doctor agreed to surrender his medical license and pay restitution to those he defrauded. When he is sentenced in December, he faces up to four years and three months in prison.