Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Florida Issue Suspensions, Restrictions For Alt Med Providers

Florida says it's suspended the licenses of Murtagh Meyler, Anthony Cirruzzo and Alfred Barney Chapman.
Florida alt med providers suspended in July
Florida Department of Health has made public its list of medical professionals who were targets of license suspensions or restriction in July.

Osteopath Alfred Barney Chapman saw his license suspended via an emergency suspension after allegedly defaulting on his government-sponsored student loans. Chapman can appeal.

Also on the receiving end of an emergency suspension is Anthony Cirruzzo. Cirruzzo, who works as a chiropractic assistant, was convicted earlier this year on a felony charge of Patient Brokering Induce Referral of Patients.

Finally, massage therapist Murtagh Meyler is accused of sexual assault of a patient.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Washington Goes After Unlicensed Massage Therapists

Yansong Yao was fined for offer massage services without a license.
Yansong Yao & Kerry Tafoya fined.
Health officials in Washington have released the most recent list of healthcare providers investigated and, in some cases, punished for violations related to their field. Among the most recent were 2 unlicensed massage therapists.

In Benton County Yansong Yao was caught allegedly offering massage services to an investigator. Yao, who has no formal background in massage, was fined $1,000.

In Stevens County, non-credentialed "therapist" Kerry Tafoya had allegedly gone so far as to actually set up a studio, which she even advertised. Tafoya was fined $250.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Master Herbs Recalls Cough Syrup - Morphine

No reports of morphine overdose have been linked to Master Herbs and it spiked Licorice Coughing Liquid.
Screenshot of MasterHerbsInc.com 
Master Herbs, Inc., of Paloma, California, has announced a recall of its entire inventory of its Licorice Coughing Liquid product.

In the company's press release about the recall, the firm says that the cough syrup recall involves all lots.

The problem is morphine content. The morphine is in the compound camphor ingredient, which is not actually listed in the syrup's ingredient list. (It is listed elsewhere on the bottle.)

Master Herbs says that the recalled cough syrup was sold to Chinese markets in several states, including:

  • California
  • New Jersey
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Ohio
  • Nevada

The company also says that it is notifying distributors and customers. If you believe you have any of this product on hand you can contact the company at (626) 319-9915.

Less helpful, perhaps, is the photograph included with the press release:


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Terra Firma Botanicals Warned For Bogus Claims

Terra Firma screengrab captured 02-09-2016.
The US Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, has made public its warning letter to herbal remedies hawker Terra Firma Botanicals and its corporate president, Leslie Kennedy.

The letter, which was dated January 22, alleges that the agency's inspectors found "serious violations" of the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act during an inspection that took place over several days in February 2015.

Many of the alleged violations have to do with the way Terra Firma has been marketing its products. The company made, says the agency, bogus claims about (at least) 11 different herbal remedies. Those remedies include:

  • Horse Chestnut Varicose Away Spray
  • YeastEaze Vaginal Suppositories
  • Hawthorne Combo
  • Skin Combo
  • Milk Thistle
  • Turmeric
  • Turmeric/Ginger Combination
  • Depress-Shun
  • Bliss
  • Candida and Fungus Away
  • Herp-Eaze Formula

  • As is usually the case with alleged violations like these, the agency says that none of the products are proven safe or effective for the medical conditions for which they're hawked.  But even if they were, they would still be considered unapproved new drugs because they're sold for conditions that the average layperson cannot diagnose or treat without a doctor's input.

    And two of the products, the horse chestnut spray and the vaginal suppositories, cannot be marketed as herbal remedies at all because, by definition, an herbal remedy is ingested. Those two products, of course, are not.

    Terra Firma Botanicals is also accused of swapping recordkeeping. The company did not for example produce master run records as required.

    The FDA's official warning letter to Terra Firma Botanicals gave the company the standard 15 working days to respond. As of my visit to the company's website this morning, it appears that the products mentioned in the warning letter had been removed.

    Friday, February 5, 2016

    Lucinda Messer Has License Suspended

    Lucinda Messer will not be allowed to practice for 5 years after being accused of fraud in her treatment of cancer patients.
    Screen shot of Lucinda Messer's website
    Health officials in Washington announced this week that naturopathic physician Lucinda Messer has temporarily lost her license to practice. The state alleges that Messer treated cancer patients in a way that was woefully "substandard" and below the requirements for cancer sufferers.

    In the formal Statement Of Charges against Messer, one patient alleged that Messer billed her for "treatments" that were never actually provided. (This particular patient's "treatments" included more than a dozen servings of juice a day, coffee enemas and nutritional supplements that Messer sold to the patient.)

    Another patient, who ultimately died from his cancer, was also deemed "especially vulnerable". Messer should have, found investigators, exercised "extra effort" when it came to informing the patient of various treatment options.

    Because Messer did not consult a licensed medical physician about either patients' treatment plans--as she was required to do--she is accused of providing care that was deemed inadequate and incomplete. She also stands accused of:

    • Using a non-approved, cyanide-containing, "treatment" without providing Patient B with the information he needed to make an informed decision
    • Forging patient's signature on a form to professionally "insulate" herself after the patient's death
    • Misuse of her DEA license--a fact she self-reported--and using an expired DEA license
    • Advising an undercover agent, posing as a potential patient, that the recommended surgery, the Whipple procedure, would not work and offering the patient laetrile instead, explaining, "we can't say we treat cancer" but that she does it anyway, "all the time"
    Under her suspension, Messer cannot even seek reinstatement of her license for five years.

    Monday, February 1, 2016

    Dorian Yates NOXPUMP Recalled In Ireland - Multiple Drugs Found

    Dorian Yates NOXPUMP supplement is found with multiple amphetamine-like substances. A US recall seems likely.
    Image of recalled Dorian Yates NOXPUMP
    supplement courtesty FSAI.
    Food Safety Authority of Ireland, or FSAI, announced Friday that the "pre-workout" supplement Dorian Yates NOXPUMP was being pulled from the market after multiple amphetamine-like drugs were found in samples of it.

    In all, three drugs were found, says the agency, in 2 separate batches that were tested by the Netherlands Food and Consumer Products Safety Authority.

    The supplements also contain the "unauthorized novel food ingredient" Acacia rigidula. That herb, which is perhaps more correctly known as Vachellia rigidula, is what we here in the US call Blackbrush acacia, shittah or Chaparro Prieto.

    All the drugs found have amphetamine-like effects in the body and are, says the FSAI, "harmful" to people who consume them.

    Found in NOXPUMP were:

    • Methyl-synephrine (Oxilofrine)
    • ß-Methylphenethylamine
    • N_ß-dimethylphenethylamine

    Two batches of NOXPUMP are covered by this recall. Those are:

    • 13053803 - Expiry 12/18
    • 14053334 - Expiry 05/17

    Also recalled are all batches of any Dorian Yates product listing Acacia rigidula in its ingredients list.

    As of this writing, there has been no US recall of NOXPUMP announced but the substances found are characterized by the US Food and Drug Administration as ingredients not meeting the standards for dietary supplement ingredients. Any product found with them in it will be deemed "misbranded" and "adulterated". In April of 2015 the agency formally warned 5 companies about Acacia rigidula in products.

    Dorian Yates Nutrition is a US-based company. Its products are available worldwide.

    Friday, January 8, 2016

    BeeXtreme Recalls 3 Products - 2 Drugs Found

    La' Trim Plus, Jenesis and Oasis all contain 2 potentially dangerous medications.
    Bee-Xtreme.com screen grab from 01-08-2016.
    Toni Sweeney of BeeXtreme has announced a recall of products sold under these brand names:

    • La' Trim Plus
    • Jenesis
    • Oasis 

    Tests ordered by the US Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, found both phenolphthalein and sibutramine in the recalled supplements.

    All lots of these products, covering all date codes, are being pulled from the market. Sweeney did not provide photos of the products we could share with you. Nor does it appear that she has posted information about the recall at her website, bee-xtreme.com.

    Sibutramine was once marketed as a weight loss drug. It was sold under brand names like Meridia, Reductil and others. It was pulled from markets worldwide, especially in 2010, after it was linked to, or blamed for, heart attacks and strokes. The risk for adverse cardiovascular events was especially high for people with a history of heart problems.

    Today, sibutramine is one of the most commonly found illegal drugs used to spike "herbal" and "natural" weight loss supplements.

    Phenolphthalein was once widely used as a laxative and was even available over-the-counter. Scientific studies in the 1990s linked it to an increased risk for certain cancers.

    Toni Sweeney was apparently a multi-level marketing distributor of the recalled products. She has urged her own distributors to notify customers to return products. The distributors are then to destroy any products they retrieve from customers.