Sacramento, CA- Dr. Neelesh Bangalore, a well-respected Board Certified Oncologist, caring for patients stricken with cancer, announced today that he has resolved a civil legal dispute with the Department of Health and Human Services concerning billing for pharmaceutical supplies he purchased from a company named Richards Pharma/Warwick Healthcare Solutions between late 2009 and early 2011. The majority of oncology drugs purchased for use in the United States are manufactured overseas. Approximately 170 other physicians and oncologists in 33 states were told by the same supplier that the drugs purchased (which were tested and licensed for use throughout the European Union) were also authorized for use in the United States. It much later became known that distribution of the drugs by this supplier was not licensed in the United States. The people who owned the supply company were criminally prosecuted and convicted by the federal government in other jurisdictions.
Dr. Bangalore, who has always purchased virtually all of his medical supplies from well-known companies, was shocked to learn of the problem from the FDA. He has denied, and still denies, having the slightest idea that there was a problem with this supplier. The FDA Commissioner, Dr. Margaret Hamburg, told CNN in 2012 that there was a serious problem with pharmaceutical suppliers in the United States. The FDA later advised all doctors and the public that it is not an easy task to detect labeling problems. When he learned that he was a victim of the labeling fraud several years ago, Dr. Bangalore candidly posted a notice in his offices and openly talked about the issue with his patients. A careful review of the patient charts showed that no patients were harmed by the drugs.
Dr. Bangalore has often been honored for service in the medical community and for volunteering to help needy patients. He said today that “despite the great care taken to make sure that every patient receives the very best treatment offered, like many other doctors was the victim of a bad supplier. Having redoubled all personal efforts and also have instructed my pharmacy technician and my oncology nurses to carefully examine every drug shipment. If there is even the slightest question, the drugs are immediately returned.”
Malcolm Segal, attorney for the doctor said: “Dr.Bangalore settled this civil case because it was time to put the billing dispute to rest. The settlement, in which the doctor did not agree he had done anything wrong, was for an amount of money his practice can afford to reimburse to HHS. The government conducted a thorough investigation and agreed to settle. The civil nature of the settlement is a recognition that he acted in ‘good faith’ and had no intent to violate the FDA law.”
Segal noted that: “Dr. Bangalore is fully authorized by the government to provide oncology services to all of his patients, including those for whom the government pays or assists. The community will continue to receive the excellent and caring medical treatment he has always provided.”
Release ID: 87629