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Fake Doctor Sold Fake Drugs in San Diego

Concluding an investigation begun in 2009, a Bonita man plead guilty today of 13 felony charges including unlawfully practicing medicine without a license and unlawfully selling or delivering misbranded drugs with intent to defraud or mislead.

Concluding an investigation begun in 2009, a Bonita man plead guilty today of 13 felony charges including unlawfully practicing medicine without a license and unlawfully selling or delivering misbranded drugs with intent to defraud or mislead.

Kurt Walter Donsbach, 75, pleaded guilty in order to avoid prison. He will be placed on probation for five years or longer at a March 4 hearing, and may serve local jail time, reported the San Diego Union-Tribune. In addition to admitting to practicing medicine illegally and selling fake medication, he is also convicted of attempted grand theft for events that took place between 2001 and 2009.

In an affidavit dated April 8th, 2009, the San Diego District Attorney’s Office recounted the plight of one of his patients who had been diagnosed by Donsbach with arthritis and prescribed an alleged “neuropeptide” administered via injection to “reprogram the body’s T-cells.” After injecting herself with the medication for six years, the patient consulted an endocrinologist who found during testing that she had developed severe bone density loss. FDA laboratory tests revealed the “’neuropeptide’ contains Betamethasone 21-acetate, a glucocorticoid steroid drug.”

“At all times during her use of the ‘neuropeptide,’ Ms. S. was not told the ‘neuropeptide’ contained steroids. Ms. S. was not warned of the dangers of taking steroids by Donsbach or anyone associated with his businesses. The packaging, labels and literature accompanying the ‘neuropeptide’ do not disclose the presence of a steroid as an ingredient,” states the affidavit.

In 2008, an undercover FBI agent contact Donsbach online as a potential pancreatic cancer patient. Donsbach prescribed drugs without examining the agent in person, using telephone and email for only for diagnosis, and prescribing and selling the agent a box of 7 dietary supplements, one of which, Anodyn, was analyzed by the FDA to contain nimesulide, unidentified on the package, unapproved by the FDA, and removed from European and Asian markets “because of high rates of liver failure that resulted in deaths and liver transplants,” according to the affidavit.

Donsbach used literature and the internet to advertise as a chiropractor and a neuropathic doctor who offered alternative remedies for cancer, arthritis and other conditions. He was convicted of prescribing drugs not approved for use in the United States. Among his patients were Coretta Scott King, widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., who died of ovarian cancer in January 2006.

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