Area oncologist charged

COURT-JURY-JUDICIAL-GAVEL-LAW-JUSTICE

A Columbiana County oncologist is one of several northeast Ohio doctors who were charged with illegally importing drugs whose labels are out of compliance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Ranjan Bhandari, 56, who has an oncology practice in Calcutta, was charged Wednesday in U.S. District Court with having misbranded prescription drugs, a misdemeanor.

Bhandari’s attorney, Michael Hennenberg, did not immediately return a phone message.

Bhandari was one of five doctors in northeast Ohio charged Wednesday with the same crime. Court records do not name the Canadian drug company, but all are called “Company No. 1.”

Other doctors have practices in Cleveland-area suburbs.

Bhandari, according to charges, purchased drugs from the Canadian company between June 1, 2006 and March 31, 2008.

None were approved by the FDA, charges say.

Charges say drugs can be considered “misbranded” under federal law even if they have the same composition as an FDA-approved drug.

The drugs Bhandari bought were cancer treatment drugs used to combat various forms of cancer, according to charges.

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