State Boards Turn Blind Eye to FDA-Sanctioned Docs

Dozens got warning letters for serious ethical lapses, but nearly all faced no state discipline.

In the fight against cancer, you won’t find a mixture known as Allesgen on the long list of drugs approved as safe and effective by the FDA.

But a doctor in California has been peddling his own $1,800-a-month “cure” to desperate patients for years. Despite 4 years of warnings from the FDA, a patient lawsuit, scathing online reviews, and a raid by federal agents, the California medical board has not taken action.

Benedict Liao, MD, is one of 73 doctors around the country with active medical licenses who got FDA warning letters over a 5-year period alleging serious problems.

Only one was disciplined by his state medical board, an investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today found.

The warning letters, which get scant public attention, are sent after FDA officials conduct inspections at offices, clinics, and medical facilities to determine if federal rules designed to protect patients are being violated.

State boards took no action on a wide range of problems: Fertility clinics that didn’t test donors of eggs and sperm for communicable diseases; researchers who didn’t follow rules designed to protect patients who volunteer for trials of drugs and devices; and doctors — such as Liao — who pushed dubious treatments and supplements to unwitting customers.

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