There could be another twist in the misbranded drug scandal at a well-known Johnson City cancer treatment center, now defunct, and involving the nationally known doctor who founded it.
A filing in U.S. District Court in Greeneville on Thursday provides information implicating Dr. William Kincaid in the misbranded drug purchases at McLeod Blood and Cancer Clinic, and on a public access website, there is an indication of a plea agreement.
But late Thursday, that plea agreement document was not accessible and Kincaid’s attorney, Mark Slagle, said he can’t confirm or deny such an agreement exists.
“An information is not an indictment. Until there is a waiver signed and entered in open court in front of Judge (Ronnie) Greer,” there can’t be a plea agreement, he said.
“I can’t confirm or deny there’s a plea agreement. There’s been no waiver signed, I can assure you of that. That has to happen in this case if things are going to go forward on this information,” Slagle said.
He also said there is no court date set in the government’s case against Kincaid.
The “information” document is similar to an indictment, but doesn’t actually charge a person with a crime.
In the information filed against Kincaid, the federal government claims the doctor was responsible for ordering $2 million worth of cancer medications from a company named QSP. The drugs cost less than the clinic was paying from FDA-approved suppliers in the U.S. and “a decision was made by Drs. Kincaid, Lamb and Famoyin” for the business manager, Michael Combs, to order the drugs in September 2007.
Later that year, and in early 2008, nurses at the clinic raised concerns about medications with foreign language on the labels that were delivered to the clinic, and there was a decision to stop ordering from QSP.
But in August 2009, according to the filing, QSP approached Kincaid and Combs about doing business together again and Kincaid decided to buy medications from QSP. But instead of having medications delivered to the clinic, Kincaid told Combs to have them shipped to a storage business Kincaid had part ownership in, then the medications were transferred to the Cancer Clinic and mingled into FDA-approved drugs in the storage area.
According to the government document, McLeod purchased $2 million worth of drugs from QSP, but billed “Medicare, TennCare and other government benefits programs approximately $2.5 million for the unapproved drugs.”
Combs was charged during the investigation, which began in February, and pleaded guilty to one count of receiving misbranded drugs. He faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine, and a possible five-year probation term. Combs is scheduled for sentencing on April 1.
In the information document against Kincaid, the government alleges Kincaid aided and abetted others to obtain the misbranded drugs with the intent to defraud and mislead.