Donate to the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign

Florida oncologist convicted of giving smuggled, unapproved cancer drugs to patients

Photo: Healthgrades.com

Photo: Healthgrades.com

TAMPA, Fla. — A Florida doctor may spend the rest of her life in prison after she was convicted of giving unapproved medicine to cancer patients and defrauding Medicare.

According to the Department of Justice, D. Anda Norbergs, 61, started her criminal activities in 2009 as the head doctor and owner of East Lake Oncology.

She ordered drugs that were not FDA-approved and from foreign, unlicensed distributors.

Evidence showed one of the companies she and her business ordered from, Quality Specialty Products, sold fake chemotherapy medicine that was missing a key ingredient.

Norbergs knew this but kept giving drugs from Quality Specialty Products to patients.

Many drugs East Lake Oncology ordered were shipped from the United Kingdom and were manufactured for sale in other countries, including Turkey, India and Germany. Some packaging wasn’t even in English.

When Norbergs and East Lake Oncology submitted claims to Medicare, they said the FDA-approved versions of the medicine were used, which turned a profit for the business because the unapproved drugs were sold at a discount.

A federal jury found Norbergs guilty of the following charges: 17 counts of receipt and delivery of misbranded drugs, 12 counts of smuggling goods into the United States, 11 counts of health care fraud and five counts of mail fraud.

When she has her sentencing hearing in February, she could get up to 501 years in federal prison for all those counts combined.