An Edmonton fertility physician admits he took half in a drug kickback scheme for greater than two years and at occasions prescribed his sufferers increased doses of fertility medication than was medically suggested as a part of that scheme.
Sufferers who noticed Dr. Tarek Motan between August 2015 and November 2017 on the Lois Gap Hospital fertility clinic acquired a letter this month during which the physician admitted his actions. Alberta Well being Companies (AHS) helped distribute the letter.
“Whereas I used to be working on the fertility clinic, I had entered right into a monetary rebate association with three pharmaceutical firms,” Motan wrote.
He mentioned he paid for fertility medication equivalent to Gonal-f, Puregon, and Menopur from three firms “with out acquiring correct authorization and approval from AHS or my regulatory faculty.
“In return, I acquired financial rebates from these firms that I positioned into an account which I administered for schooling.”
Motan mentioned the medication had been disbursed and bought to sufferers at Glengarry Pharmacy, the place he directed his sufferers.
“As a part of the association, a portion of the rebate monies was paid to Glengarry Pharmacy,” he wrote. Motan mentioned he didn’t inform his sufferers, clinic workers, or AHS in regards to the scheme.
Motan, who nonetheless works on the clinic, has not responded to an interview request. A Glengarry Pharmacy worker, who recognized himself solely as Eric, mentioned he couldn’t touch upon the letter and informed a CBC Information reporter to contact Alberta Well being Companies earlier than he hung up.
Generally prescribed increased doses than beneficial
Within the letter, Motan additionally admitted that “from time to time” he prescribed excessive doses of fertility medication to sufferers, together with from the outset.
He mentioned he believed it will assist them but additionally acknowledged it might have put some sufferers liable to adversarial results together with ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, a situation the place the ovaries swell and leak fluid into the physique.
“That strategy was opposite to the medical product literature that beneficial doses be individualized for every affected person and that sufferers be began on decrease doses,” he wrote.
“As well as, the upper doses meant that sufferers additionally skilled increased value and prescribing the upper doses of a number of the medication resulted in increased rebate quantities.”
The letter informed sufferers they’ll contact a name line out there by Well being Hyperlink if they’ve questions or considerations.
Alberta Well being Companies declined an interview request and didn’t tackle questions in regards to the kickback scheme, saying it “can supply no additional remark or specifics about this matter.
“Nonetheless, motion has been and continues to be taken,” spokesperson Kerry Williamson mentioned in a press release. He mentioned sufferers and others who want to make a grievance about Motan can accomplish that by the School of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta.
A university spokesperson mentioned overprescribing medicine and cashing in on these prescriptions is a breach of its requirements of apply, however the Well being Professions Act prevents the school from confirming or denying any grievance investigations underway.
“That mentioned, inquiring into conditions like that is (the school’s) duty as a regulator,” Jessica McPhee mentioned in a press release. The Alberta School of Pharmacy has not but responded to a question from CBC Information.
College of Calgary well being legislation affiliate professor Lorian Hardcastle mentioned each regulators ought to examine the scheme. She mentioned Motan’s admission is uncommon and raises considerations about not solely the monetary battle of curiosity, however the high quality of care he supplied to sufferers.
“It’s anticipated that above all, physicians can have their curiosity in thoughts and that that curiosity will not be influenced by funds or different issues,” she mentioned.
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