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Sunday, May 26, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Cancer Patients Said to Die of Smuggled Drugs

LOS ANGELES (CN) - A class action claims Prime Care Medical Group treated cancer patients with "illegal drugs that were smuggled into the United States." Sarah Didion blames the defendants for her father's wrongful death. "Instead of receiving conventional and legal cancer treatment, defendants administered and caused to be administered illegal drugs which defendants had smuggled across the border from India and Honduras," the Superior Court complaint states. "By administering these illegal drugs and selling them to plaintiffs, defendants and each of them earned a significant financial profit."

The complaint states: "Sarah Didion did not discover the wrongful conduct of defendants until approximately September 2008 after defendant [Vinod] Patwardhan was arrested." She claims "that defendants administered illegal drugs, which had been smuggled across the border, primarily by defendant Vinod C. Patwardhan."

The complaint never states that Patwardhan is a physician, though it alleges medical battery and malpractice, and says that he treated cancer patients.

She claims "defendants charged plaintiffs for a full dose of legal, conventional cancer medication, but instead actually, unbeknownst to the plaintiffs, administered only a half dose of some other illegal medication, which they had smuggled into the country. Defendants profited by a least $1 million by way of this scheme. Defendants Patwardhan told federal agents that he had smuggled hundreds of thousands of dollars of unapproved drugs into the country, and he was arrested on August 15, 2008."

The complaint continues: "Plaintiffs had a treatable and correctable form of cancer, had proper conventional treatment been administered. Instead, when defendants administered, and allowed to be administered, these illegal drugs, plaintiffs did not improve, but actually got worse. On information and belief, some patients were killed and/or severely injured by the administration of these illegal drugs, which had been smuggled into the country, and sold by the defendants, as conventional cancer drugs."

Here are the defendants: Prime Care Medical Group, Prime Cared Medical Group Inc., Prime Care Medical Group of Chino, Vinod C. Patwardhan, Velma Yep, Heidi Larson, and North American Medical Management - California,

Plaintiffs are represented by Timothy Donahue of Orange.

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