A Palm Harbor oncologist was convicted Friday of buying and selling counterfeit chemotherapy drugs, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
D. Anda Norbergs, 61, faces prison after being convicted on 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. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 16.
According to trial testimony and evidence, Norbergs owned and operated East Lake Oncology. Beginning in May 2009, she ordered and told others to order drugs that were not approved by the FDA from foreign, unlicensed distributors. The drugs were manufactured and packaged for distribution in other countries, and some of the packaging was in foreign languages.
One of the businesses reportedly sold a version of a chemotherapy drug that did not contain the key ingredient. When Norbergs learned of this, she still had the company's drugs administered to patients, according to testimony.
East Lake submitted claims for reimbursement for the drugs, falsely representing them as FDA-approved. In this way she was able to generate profits from the difference between the cheaper, non-approved drugs and the FDA-approved drugs, according to trial evidence.