Texas AG reaches agreement over unapproved medical injections
AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline) - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced on Friday that he has reached an agreement with the physician owner of an orthopedic clinic who allegedly gave his patients unapproved medical injections.
Dr. Bliss W. Clark and Clark Orthopedics & Rehabilitation allegedly acquired arthritis injections from a New Braunfels, Texas, wholesale distributor, even though it was not properly licensed to do so.
The three injections -- Orthovisc, Synvisc and Hyalgan -- are approved for use in the United States to relieve arthritis-related pain in patients' knees. But by allegedly purchasing them from a supplier not licensed in the state, the doctor violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Health and Safety Code.
Abbott learned about the matter from the Texas Department of State Health Services, which alleged that the defendants' Hyalgan and Orthovisc products bore foreign-language labels and were intended for distribution in Turkey. DSHS determined they were misbranded devices and unlawful for use in the United States.
From January 2008 through March 2009, Clark Orthopedics also allegedly purchased numerous Hyalgan kits, Synvisc and Orthovisc syringes.
Under terms of the agreement, Clark must pay $86,000 in civil penalties to the state as well as costs associated with the litigation. He and the clinic also are no longer allowed to use any unapproved medical device.