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'Chemo Fraud'


Oncologist Meera Sachdeva, founder of the Rose Cancer Center in Mississippi, is being charged with stealing millions of dollars from Medicaid and Medicare by giving multiple patients diluted chemotherapy drugs and reusing needles, reports the Associated Press' Holbrook Mohr. Sachdeva has pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors say she lied to her patients and the government, by giving the patients less or cheaper drugs. The clinic, which was established in 2005, billed Medicare and Medicaid for about $15.1 million during the alleged fraud, Mohr says. "The Mississippi Health Department closed the clinic in July due to 'unsafe infection control practices' after 11 patients went to hospitals with the same bacterial infection. Officials are in the process of testing hundreds of patients for HIV and other diseases because of concerns of contamination from dirty needles," he adds. Authorities are not claiming that any patients have died from the treatment they received from Sachdeva, but that investigation is ongoing. "The widest discrepancy is for the drug Erbitux," Mohr reports. "The clinic billed for 142,200 milligrams, even though it only had only purchased 45,100 milligrams, court records said."

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