An elderly cancer patient claims a doctor used his clinics and pharmacy to bilk her of nearly $100,000 by persuading her to undergo a proprietary cancer treatment that “was actually a clinical trial,” and charging her $500 per pill for drugs she could buy elsewhere for a fraction of that price.
Lola Quinlan sued Houston-based Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski and his companies, The Burzynski Clinic, the Burzynski Research Institute and Southern Family Pharmacy, in Harris County Court.
Tip: @endless_psych on Twitter
The claims made by the plantiff are that she was subjected to “false and misleading tactics” about the proprietary cancer ‘treatment’ in Houston, Texas to convince her to chose that instead of traditional chemotherapy and radiation. She claims Burzynski “provided false and misleading information about ‘gene therapy’ which allegedly lacked the negative side effects associated with traditional cancer treatments.” She concludes the treatments she received there were “wholly ineffective” and seeks punitive damages for negligence, negligent misrepresentation, fraud, deceptive trade and conspiracy.
With what we know of the Burzynski operation right now, at least some of these claims are plausible. It shows that this patient, whether she was adequately informed or not, thought this was an approved and appropriate treatment. Therefore, the clinic appears to have failed in helping her understand exactly what she was buying into – a trial (that has been going on for years and still has not produced evidence for efficacy accepted by the medical community).
It will be interesting to see if more ex-patients file suit. However, the huge negative spotlight placed on Burzynski and his business these past few months does not bode well for its future. The critical eye is upon it.