WJHL.com - 2nd Tri-Cities cancer doctor in trouble for unapproved drugs

Attorney for cancer doctor says physician is "not guilty"

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Patricia Posey-Sen is listed as an officer manager on the  East Tennessee Cancer and Blood Center's website. Patricia Posey-Sen is listed as an officer manager on the East Tennessee Cancer and Blood Center's website.
Dr. Sen, his wife, Patricia Posey Sen, and East Tennessee Cancer and Blood Center, P.C. are all listed as defendants on the indictment. The documents say ETCBC has locations in Greeneville and Johnson City.(Photo courtesy: Phillip Murrell) Dr. Sen, his wife, Patricia Posey Sen, and East Tennessee Cancer and Blood Center, P.C. are all listed as defendants on the indictment. The documents say ETCBC has locations in Greeneville and Johnson City.(Photo courtesy: Phillip Murrell)
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GREENEVILLE, TN (WJHL) -

A federal grand jury indicted a Tri-Cities cancer doctor for administering drugs that were not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville.

Federal court documents show Dr. Anindya Kumar Sen and his wife Patricia Posey Sen from the East Tennessee Cancer and Blood Center, P.C. are charged with 38 felony charges.

The documents say ETCBC has locations in Greeneville and Johnson City.

In July of last year, News Channel 11 reported that the FDA was investigating Dr. Sen for buying unapproved cancer drugs from a foreign distributor.

At the time of that story, Sen's attorney, Ed Yarborough, told us the clinic did buy some unapproved medication from a foreign distributor between 2007 and 2011, but did not do so knowingly.

Yarborough said when the FDA alerted the doctor to the problem, Dr. Sen was shocked and immediately stopped prescribing the drugs.

He said the distributor assured them the drugs were appropriate for use in the U.S.

The indictment comes days after another Tri-Cities cancer doctor, Dr. William Kincaid from the McLeod Cancer and Blood Center, was sentenced to serve two years in a federal prison for giving his patients unapproved cancer drugs.

The charges against Dr. Sen and his wife include the following:

  • One count of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States
  • 29 counts of introduction into interstate commerce a misbranded drug with intent to defraud or mislead
  • Seven counts of knowingly importing merchandise contrary to law
  • One count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud

Dr. Sen, his wife, Patricia Posey Sen, and East Tennessee Cancer and Blood Center, P.C. are all listed as defendants on the indictment.

Dr. Sen is a medical doctor licensed to practice medicine in the State of Tennessee and was the president, owner and managing physician of ETCBC and Patricia Posey Sen was employed as practice manager for ETCBC, according to the court filing.

The indictment says the defendants began ordering drugs from Clinical Care in 2009, which was a business in Calgary, Alberta, Canada that offered drugs for sale that were obtained from foreign sources and had not been approved by the FDA for distribution in the U.S.

Those drugs were then administered to patients and claims for reimbursement for the drugs were submitted to Medicare, TennCare and other health benefits programs, according to the indictment.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil Smith, Dr. Sen's initial appearance and arraignment is set for June 27th at 9:30 am in Greeneville.

"We won't be able to make any public statements at this time," Smith said about the case.

Dr. Sen's Nashville-based attorney Ed Yarbrough says the charges are not warranted.

"Dr. Sen is an excellent physician," Yarbrough said. "He does excellent work for his patients. There were no bad outcomes here. He never had any awareness that there was anything wrong with the branding of the drugs that he was using. They all performed as he expected they would and he will plead not guilty to these charges and he will go to trial and attempt to prove his innocence to a jury."

Despite what prosecutors outline in the indictment, Yarbrough says his client did not attempt to conceal the drugs from employees or mislead his staff. Instead, he says as soon as he found out the drugs were unapproved, he stopped using them.

"They were repeatedly told by the drug distributor from whom they bought their drugs that these were FDA approved, that there was nothing wrong with them and in fact, there was nothing wrong with them from a clinical standpoint," Yarbrough said. "(His patients) know Dr. Sen. They know he's an excellent doctor, takes good care of his patients, always has, has no complaints of any patients that I'm aware of in the many years that he's practiced in Greeneville and Johnson City and we expect that he will be completely exonerated in this case."

Both of Dr. Sen's offices remain open. Ernest Barnett visited with the doctor today at his Johnson City office as part of his treatment for lung cancer.

"He just acted normal," Barnett said. "I just like him. I think he's a good doctor. He's concerned for me."

Barnett is in an unusual situation. Dr. Kincaid was previously treating him before the federal investigation forced him to retire. Despite Dr. Kincaid's criminal case and Dr. Sen's charges, Barnett has nothing but good things to say about both of his cancer doctors.

"I thought (Dr. Kincaid) was a fine doctor," Barnett said. "Kincaid went out and I had to have another doctor so I found (Dr. Sen) and he's been wonderful. I really like him. I'm just afraid I'll have to get another doctor. I hope not."

 


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