Illinois physician agrees to surrender medical license after giving patients non-FDA approved drugs

Dr. Ann Kinnealey is no longer an Illinois-licensed medical doctor following investigations leading to an agreement with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). Kinnealey may have been facing IDFPR discipline and elected to surrender her license voluntarily. She waived her right to a hearing with the Department investigating her in connection with a criminal investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concerning Kinnealey, an oncologist, purchasing and prescribing $1 million worth of misbranded drugs obtained from Canada that were not approved or allowed by the FDA.[i]

The FDA spends significant resources to protect the public from non-FDA drugs. Narcotics from overseas can be less expensive than approved pharmaceuticals legally obtained, and there is a black market. In other cases, prices are not the issue, rather patients may seek imported drugs not otherwise approved and legally available in the U.S., drugs that may otherwise still be in clinical trial stage or experimental drugs. When patients are sick and their chances of recovery are compelling, some doctors and patients will do whatever it takes to get their hands on anything that might save their lives, even if it means the purchase and sale of illegal imported narcotics.

When the FDA gets involved, so does the IDFPR

When an Illinois-licensed professional is investigated, charged or convicted of wrongdoing, the IDFPR can and will launch its independent investigation and determine if the individual should be disciplined to keep its duty to the people of the State of Illinois to ensure that licensed professionals meet the requirements to hold a professional license. As a general rule, individuals with criminal problems do not meet the state’s requirements to hold professional licenses.

The IDFPR investigated Kinnealey and ordered a summary suspension of her medical licenses (Licensed Physician Controlled Substance, Schedules II, III, IV and V, and Licensed Physician and Surgeon) on April 8, 2016. The reason cited for the summary suspensions as listed on the IDFPR license lookup page is “based on unprofessional and immoral conduct and fraudulent or deceptive statement in a document related to the practice of medicine, to wit: Respondent illegally acquired non-FDA approved chemotherapy medications and administered said medications to oncology patients.[ii]

The doctor surrendered her license in lieu of discipline by the IDFPR

A couple weeks later, Kinnealey surrendered her license on April 21, 2016, “Surrender in Lieu of Discipline, for purchasing non-FDA approved, misbranded cancer chemotherapy prescription drugs to be used in her oncology practice between 2008-2012.[iii]

The FDA investigation included information that the FDA notified Kinnealey in 2009 that the non-approved cancer treatment drugs she was importing from Canada, were not allowed in the U.S. Kinnealey ignored the FDA warning and continued buying and prescribing the cheap import cancer drugs. She billed Medicare for some of the Canadian drugs, and was reimbursed more than $514,000. Fortunately none of Kinnealey’s patients died as a result of using the counterfeit drugs.[iv]

IDFPR spokesman, Terry Horstman stated, “She will no longer be able to practice medicine or prescribe controlled substances within Illinois. Chief medical coordinator for the Department said, “the continued practice of medicine by Kinnealey presented “an immediate danger to the safety of the public” in the notice of her suspension April 8.[v]” In addition to the loss of her career and medical licenses, Kinnealey was ordered to pay approximately $129,000 in restitution to the federal government.

Michael V. Favia & Associates, P.C. represents Illinois-licensed professionals in actions involving the IDFPR. A former Chief of Prosecution with the Department, Michael V. Favia is well-known for his work on both sides of administrative licensing law.

Chicago health law and litigation attorney Michael V. Favia and his associates in several locations and disciplines, advise and represent licensed physicians in all types of litigation and administrative matters involving licensing and regulatory agencies.

Michael V. Favia and Associates, P.C. represents individual physicians and health care organizations in the Chicago area with a variety of legal matters. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburban meeting locations, you can schedule a discrete meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion. For more about Michael V. Favia & Associates, please call (773) 631-4850, visit www.favialawfirm.com and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter. You can also review endorsements and recommendations for Michael V. Favia on his Avvo.com profile and on LinkedIn.

[i] The Republic, Illinois doctor gives up license over cancer drug imports, Associated Press, May 11, 2016.

[ii] Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, physician lookup, Ann E Kinnealey MD, May 13, 2016.

[iii] See Ann Kinnealey license lookup referenced HNii above.

[iv] Beckers Hospital Review, Chicago oncologist relinquishes license to settle illegal cancer drug probe, by Tamara Rosin, May 11, 2016.

[v] Chicago Tribune, Evanston doctor gives up license after cancer drug probe, by Robert Channick, May 11, 2016.

Image Source: Chicago Tribune, Biddiboo / Getty Images http://trib.in/23OwafP

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