Richland, Wash. ( Associated Press) — The Washington State Department of Health has ordered the owner of a former medical research company not to practice medicine in the state.
The Tri-City Herald reported that 43-year-old Sami Anwar is now serving a 28-year sentence in federal prison after a medical drug trial.,
He has been jailed since November 2018, when a federal grand jury returned the indictment, which resulted in 47 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud, fraudulently obtaining controlled substances and submitting materially false information to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Convicted in felony counts.
In July 2019, the Washington Department of Health’s Unlicensed Practice Program told Anwar that he planned to issue a cease-and-desist order because he did not have a physician’s license. The final order announced this month completes the Department of Health’s case and includes a $1,000 fine.
His federal court sentence included an order to pay $1.9 million to fraud victims, and federal officials tried to recover $5.6 million from their assets.
Anwar conducted Mid-Columbia Research and Zain Research in Richland. He trained as a medical doctor in Pakistan before moving to the United States in 2008. A naturalized citizen, he was unable to obtain his medical license in the US, so he turned to research. For six years he collected millions of dollars from pharmaceutical companies and sponsors, claiming to be the test drug for various studies.
Instead, he gave up some drugs, asked his staff to falsify the record, and kept incomplete records of when study participants were given experimental drugs. In one case, a person died while serving as a test subject in two separate clinical trials at the same time.
Federal prosecutors said their actions put “millions of citizens in real danger through fraudulent and deliberate submission of corrupt medical data to the public health system that Americans rely on every day.”