ST. LOUIS – A pain medicine doctor from Town and Country and his wife were sentenced Thursday for injecting their unwitting patients with non-FDA approved osteoarthritis drugs.
Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri said Dr. Abdul Naushad and Wajiha Naushad used a cheaper, foreign Orthovisc in more than 1,000 injections of elderly and impoverished patients.
Orthovisc, which is now sold in the United States by authorized distributors, comes in a pre-filled syringe and is injected into the knee to relieve a patient’s osteoarthritis pain. It’s available only by prescription.
The Naushads used the money they saved buying the cheap drug to fund what prosecutors called “a lavish lifestyle that included a $2 million mansion, two vacation homes, and four luxury cars.”
According to court documents, the Naushads concealed their actions from their patients, employees, and health insurers. After a foreign shipment of the unapproved drugs was seized by the FDA, the Naushads had future shipments delivered to their home.
Wajiha Naushad later lied to a compliance officer and friend by telling that individual the injections had come from a U.S. distributor.
A jury convicted the couple in April 2022 of one conspiracy count and one count of healthcare fraud.
A U.S. District Court judge sentenced Dr. Naushad to one year in federal prison and his wife to three years’ probation. The Naushads were ordered to pay $235,977 in restitution.