Kentucky cancer clinic office manager pleads guilty to selling misbranded chemotherapy drugs

Hematology and Oncology Center (HOC) PLLC and HOC’s former office manager, Natarajan Murugesan, pleaded guilty on June 18, 2014 to purchasing and selling unapproved and improperly labeled chemotherapy drugs. Between January 2010 and July 2011, Murugesan ordered non-FDA approved cancer treatments from Quality Speciality Products (QSP), a subsidiary of Canada Drugs that sold prescription medicines from countries that included Turkey, India, the European Union, and the United Kingdom.

HOC and Murugesan are scheduled to be sentenced on October 3, 2014.

Who: FDA-OCI, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General, and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Kentucky

When: June 18, 2014; January 2010 and JUly 2011

Where: Somerset, Kentucky

How: Hematology and Oncology Center PLLC was among practices that were warned about QSP’s misbranded and possibly counterfeit drugs when the FDA issued letters on the subject in 2012.

Additional details: In January 2014, HOC, Murugesan and an oncologist, Dr. N. Mullai, agreed to a civil settlement of $2,000,000 to resolve charges that they violated the False Claims Act by submitting false claims to the Medicare program for misbranded, unapproved chemotherapy drugs administered through HOC’s Somerset, Kentucky, clinic. Dr. Mullai was not criminally charged.

Related sources:

Kentucky oncology practice and its manager plead guilty to purchasing and selling unapproved chemotherapy drugs,” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, June 26, 2014.

Somerset oncology practice and office manager plead guilty to food, drug and cosmetic act offenses related to misbranded cancer treatment drug,” U.S. Department of Justice, June 18, 2014.

Justin Madden, “Somerset clinic and former office manager plead guilty in cancer-drug case,” Lexington Herald-Leader, June 18, 2014.