May 30, 2008 -- A qui tam case brought on behalf of a whistleblower by Phillips & Cohen LLP was the subject of a CBS Evening News story tonight.
Investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson interviewed the whistleblower, Dr. Suby Rao of Chicago, about his qui tam lawsuit that alleges U.S. doctors are buying illegally imported oncology drugs even though those cancer drugs could be fake or toxic.
"Their biggest motivation is profit," Dr. Rao said.
Attkisson reported that "a doctor can walk off with more than $1,000 extra profit" for a single cancer treatment by buying the cheap imported drugs and billing Medicare for the full price. Those doctors don't know whether those imported drugs are safe or effective.
". . . There's no way to know if patients have been hurt, since their complications would likely be blamed on cancer." Attkisson said. So doctors "get away with lining their pockets ... while patients put their trust, and lives, in their doctors' hands."
A New York oncologist paid $275,000 to the federal government in April to settle his portion of the qui tam lawsuit.