Doc Saved $790K Using Cancer Drugs Unapproved by FDA


A Maryland oncologist is facing a year in prison after pleading guilty to introducing a mis-branded drug into interstate commerce.

Dr. Isabella Martire, 52, of Laurel, bought $200,000 worth of drugs not approved by the FDA for use in the U.S. from a England-based wholesaler last year, according to Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein. In 2010 and 2011, Martire treated her cancer patients with the mis-branded drugs and sought reimbursement from Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, private health insurers and federal employee health benefit plans.

Martire saved at least $790,600 in 2010 by purchasing the mis-branded drugs, according to the U.S. attorney.

Federal law enforcement investigating the wholesaler for importing drugs approved for use only outside the U.S. searched Martire’s office in May and seized several boxes of mis-branded drugs, including some with labels almost entirely in Turkish, according to the U.S. attorney.

Sentencing was scheduled for Oct. 17. The maximum sentence is a year in prison and a year of supervised release.

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