TMB files 200+ pages of charges against Burzynski

A stunning 202-page legal brief released by the Texas Medical Board last week revealed the scope of charges that have been filed against the Houston cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski. The charges, which are dated 8 July, focus on the “care” given by Burzynski and his staff to seven anonymous patients.

The charges range from the unbelievable to the obscene:

Board Staff alleges that Respondent created a medical practice model based on marketing his proprietary anti-cancer drugs to patients without adequate measures for patient safety and therapeutic value. Respondent misled patients knowingly by promoting these drugs as an attraction to bring patients to his medical practice when Respondent was aware that he could not legally include most of those patients in FDA-approved Phase 2 clinical trials of his proprietary anti-cancer drugs. Respondent further misled patients into paying funds as a retainer prior to receiving any evaluation, diagnosis or treatment. Respondent further misled patients into (1) paying exorbitant charges for drugs and medical services; (2) accepting care from unlicensed persons while Respondent and Respondent’s employees misrepresented those unlicensed persons to be licensed medical doctors in Texas and the United States of America; and (3) accepting care from health care providers who had little advanced education or training related to cancer treatment while Respondent and Respondent’s employees misrepresented those health care providers to be doctors with significant advanced education or training related to cancer treatment.

Skeptics had long ago come to a very similar conclusion, but this betrayal of trust goes far beyond anything that researchers on the outside could have surmised.

Among the most surprising revelations was that Burzynski is being charged with misrepresenting the status of many of his medical staff as licensed physicians, when they were in fact not licensed anywhere in the United States. Many many of these accused impostors in this brief have been mentioned in the patient stories gathered by the Skeptics for the Protection of Cancer Patients. Take “Dr.” Tolib Rakhmanov who was named by the TMB:

“Respondent [Burzynski] was responsible for the false, misleading and deceptive representation to Patient A and Patient A’s fiancée that Tolib Rakhmanov was a medical doctor licensed to practice medicine in the state of Texas.”

Rakhmanov was described as “Dr. Rakhmanov” in the story of Claire Faulkner (deceased). Rakhmanov comes up more than once in this woeful litany of charges. “Dr.” Sheryll Acelar appears in far more stories gathered by the SPCP: including those of Laura Hymas (deceased), Brynlin Sanders (deceased), Evan Wolfe (deceased), Kenneth H. Jones (deceased), Maryn Cella (deceased), and others. To give a sense of the comprehensiveness of this document, the TMB charges that make-believe doctor Sheryll Acelar practiced medicine without license or training under Burzynski on these dates:

a. Evaluation of Patient G’s medical condition on or about August 31, 2012, September 10, 2012, September 12, 2012, September 13, 2012, September 2012, September 15, 2012, September 16, 2012, September 17, 2012, September 17, 2012, September 18, 2012, September 19, 2012, September 20, 2012, September 22, 2012, September 23, 2012, September 24, 2012, September 29, 2012, September 30, 2012, October 3, 2012, October 4, 2012, October 5, 2012, October 6, 2012, October 8, 2012, October 9, 2012, October 10, 2012, October 11, 2012, October 13, 2012, October 15, 2012, October 16, 2012, October 17, 2012, October 18, 2012, October 23, 2012, October 24, 2012, October 25, 2012,  October 26, 2012, October 27, 2012, November 1, 2012, November 5, 2012, November 6, 2012, November 7, 2012, November 8, 2012, November 9, 2012, November 13, 2012, and November 14, 2012.

b. Diagnosis of Patient G’s medical condition on or about August 31, 2012, September 10, 2012, September 12, 2012, September 13, 2012, September 2012, September 15, 2012, September 16, 2012, September 17, 2012, September 17, 2012, September 18, 2012, September 19, 2012, September 20, 2012, September 22, 2012, September 23, 2012, September 24, 2012, September 29, 2012, September 30, 2012, October 3, 2012, October 4, 2012, October 5, 2012, October 6, 2012, October 8, 2012, October 9, 2012, October 10, 2012, October 11, 2012, October 13, 2012, October 15, 2012, October 16, 2012, October 17, 2012, October 18, 2012, October 23, 2012, October 24, 2012, October 25, 2012,  October 26, 2012, October 27, 2012, November 1, 2012, November 5, 2012, November 6, 2012, November 7, 2012, November 8, 2012, November 9, 2012,  November 13, 2012, and November 14, 2012.

Page 125 of 202

 

c. Making recommendations for treatment of Patient G’s medical condition on or about August 31, 2012, September 10, 12,
September 13, 2012, September 2012, September 15, 2012, September 16, 2012, September 17, 2012, September 17, 2012, September 18, 2012, September 19, 2012, September 20, 2012, September 22, 2012, September 23, 2012, September 24, 2012, September 29, 2012, September 30, 2012, October 3, 2012, October 4, 2012, October 5, 2012, October 6, 2012, October 8, 2012, October 9, 2012, October 10, 2012, October 11, 2012, October 13, 2012, October 15, 2012, October 16, 2012, October 17, 2012, October 18, 2012, October 23, 2012, October 24, 2012, October 25, 2012, October 26, 2012, October 27, 2012, November 1, 2012, November 5, 2012, November 6, 2012, November 7, 2012, November 8, 2012, November 9, 2012, November 13, 2012, and November 14, 2012.

d. Making decisions regarding the treatment of Patient G’s medical condition on or about August 31, 2012, September 10, 2012, September 12, 2012, September 13, 2012, September 2012, September 15, 2012, September 16, 2012, September 17, 2012, September 17, 2012, September 18, 2012, September 19, 2012, September 20, 2012, September 22, 2012, September 23, 2012, September 24, 2012, September 29, 2012, September 30, 2012, October 3, 2012, October 4, 2012, October 5, 2012, October 6, 2012, October 8, 2012, October 9, 2012, October 10, 2012, October 11, 2012, October 13, 02012, October 15, 2012, October 16, 2012, October 17, 2012, October 18, 2012, October 23, 2012, October 24, 2012, October 25, 2012, October 26, 2012, October 27, 2012, November 1, 2012, November 5, 2012, November 6, 2012, November 7, 2012, November 8,2012, November 9, 2012, November 13, 2012, and November 14, 2012.

The catalog of charlatanry goes on like this for over 200 pages. Further charges relate to inadequate documentation, failure to assess whether patients actually had cancer, failure to inform patients about alternative treatments, failure to perform psychological assessments, a suite of charges related to abysmal FDA site reviews from early 2013, the details of charges of false advertising reported in December, innumerable unjustified medical tests and conflicts of interest, and lastly, something that we have seen many times, charges of a bait and switch, when patients were led to believe that they would be receiving Burzynski’s patented “antineoplastons” and in fact ended up on another treatment only after paying an enormous retainer for the antineoplaston treatment. The Skeptics for the Protection of Cancer Patients saw this in the case of Kathy B (deceased), who wrote on August 29, 2011:

I made this video in anticipation that I would be receiving the antineoplastons. Apparently after spending over 30,000 here I found out that the Antineoplastons are only reserved for brain cancer patients who have already undergone chemo radiation. FDA put this restriction on the Burzynski Clinic, so any other cancer patients are BASICALLY ONLY GETTING THE TRADITIOINAL ALLOPATHIC TREATMENTS OF SYNTHETIC ANTINEOPLASON PILLS THAT DID NOTHING FOR ME.

Kathy also filmed her entire visit to the Burzynski Clinic, effectively documenting the colossal deception.

Recently, the opponents of this mercenary quack were disheartened to hear that the FDA had reopened Burzynski’s farcical clinical trials. In a recent interview with USA Today, Burzynski compared his dissatisfied patients to prostitutes, extortionists, and mobstersThe Houston Chronicle reported on the lifting of the FDA ban, but not on the filing of the new charges, focusing on one family that filed a complaint:

[The FDA decision] came about a week before former patient Abra Hall, 27, of Chehalis, Wash., died following a two-year brain cancer fight. Hall’s tumor kept growing, even during the three months she tried Burzynski’s treatments. Hall died July 3.

 

Her mother, Stacey Huntington, filed a 2013 complaint with the Texas Medical Board against Burzynski, claiming the doctor was more interested in profits than helping her daughter, who routinely became ill during treatments. Huntington said her daughter repeatedly had to stop treatment and take time to recover before she could resume them. Hall never reached a maximum dose of treatment, her mother said.

 

“I just don’t understand how he can get away with what he has done,” Huntington said. “I just got duped out of $35,000. He’s greedy. He takes advantage of people who are desperate.”

 

Burzynski’s attorney, Richard Jaffe, said there was no doubt the agency would lift the [clinical hold on antineoplaston trials], calling it a good step forward. He said his client’s treatments weren’t responsible for Hall’s death.

 

“She wasn’t happy with the treatment,” Jaffe said of Huntington. “She wasn’t happy with (the costs) and she went away. (Hall) didn’t die under the clinic’s watch. There’s bad blood there. There have been a couple of patients like that.”

Abra was cremated last week. Burzynski will show up to work in the morning like he has every day for the last 40 years.

As a postscript, when this news broke over the weekend at the Amazing Meeting 2014, a conference devoted to science advocacy in the public interest, a thousand people cheered the release of this document, which could cost this despicable creature the right to treat patients ever again:

While we hope that the TMB can end this abomination, Burzynski has gotten away with too much for too long for skeptics to sit by while the case develops. We are urging Texans to bring these charges to the attention of Governor Perry’s office, and make it clear that this is a prosecution that is long, long overdue. If you want to help keep the pressure on this quack, please join the Skeptics for the Protection of Cancer Patients and like their facebook page. For the full range of horrors that skeptics have uncovered, see the case of Briannah O. For a complete summary of the Burzynski saga, see David Gorski’s recent cover article about Burzynski from Skeptical Inquirer, and the accompanying article that brings the fight up to the present.

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One Response to TMB files 200+ pages of charges against Burzynski

  1. Pingback: Burzynski blogs: My Master List | Josephine Jones

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