DOC­TOR FACES AC­CU­SA­TIONS

Tri-City Herald - - Front Page - BY SARA SCHILLING ss­chilling@tric­i­ty­her­ald.com

The owner of two re­search com­pa­nies faces charges after he al­legedly faked and fal­si­fied clin­i­cal drug trial data.

The owner of two Rich­land re­search com­pa­nies faces a long list of charges in fed­eral court after he al­legedly faked and fal­si­fied clin­i­cal drug trial data to line his own pock­ets.

And fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors want Sami An­war to stay be­hind bars while he awaits his day in court, say­ing he’s re­peat­edly tried to in­tim­i­date wit- nesses and is a sig­nif­i­cant risk to flee the coun­try.

An­war was ar­rested Thurs­day and made his first ap­pear­ance on the charges in U.S. Dis­trict Court at the Fed­eral Build­ing in Rich­land.

A hear­ing on his de­ten­tion is set for Fri­day.

Scott John­son, An­war’s at­tor­ney, said his client co­op­er­ated with in­ves­ti­ga­tors. “We’re dis­ap­pointed the govern­ment moved ahead de­spite a lack of solid ev­i­dence,” he said.

Joseph H. Har­ring­ton, U.S. At­tor­ney for East­ern Wash­ing­ton, an­nounced the 47-count in­dict­ment on Thurs­day, say­ing in a state­ment that “’in­ves­ti­gat­ing fraud and opi­oid-re­lated crimes is a top pri­or­ity for the Depart­ment of Jus­tice” and his of­fice will ”con­tinue to use all of the in­ves­tiga­tive and le­gal tools avail­able to us to do so.”

The in­dict­ment names An­war and two of his com­pa­nies, Mid-Columbia Re­search and Zain Re­search, which both are housed in the same build­ing off North Columbia Cen­ter Boule­vard.

It al­leges that he and his com­pany “de­vised, per­pe­trated and car­ried out a scheme and ar­ti­fice de­signed to en­rich them­selves fi­nan­cially by fal­si­fy­ing re­search data for hu­man clin­i­cal tri­als, in­clud­ing a clin­i­cal trial for a med­i­cal study de­signed to pre­vent and lower opi­oid use and ad­dic­tion.”

That in­cluded, ac­cord­ing to Har­ring­ton’s of­fice and court doc­u­ments:

Forg­ing and fal­si­fy­ing

● doc­u­ments to make it look like the study was be­ing per­formed by a li­censed doc­tor and fal­si­fy­ing med­i­cal records and data to ad­mit dozens of in­el­i­gi­ble pa­tients, in­clud­ing em­ploy­ees and fam­ily mem­bers.

Fal­si­fy­ing records to

make it look like sub­jects were par­tic­i­pat­ing and re­ceiv­ing treat­ment when they weren’t in or­der to bill for the study and get

$250,000-plus from the drug com­pany spon­sor­ing it.

Cre­at­ing false docu

● ments to hide the fraud.

Fraud­u­lently ob

● tain­ing con­trolled sub­stances, in­clud­ing hy­drocodone/ac­etaminophen and mor­phine, by say­ing they were and would be used for re­search, when they weren’t.

Sub­mit­ting a fraudu

● lent ap­pli­ca­tion to the DEA in an at­tempt to get gamma hy­drox­y­bu­tyrate, or GHB, for a sep­a­rate study for which they hoped to get fund­ing.

In a 34-page motion to keep him jailed, pros­e­cu­tors ar­gued he should re­main be­hind bars pend­ing trial, say­ing he’s threat­ened and ha­rassed wit­nesses, poses a risk to pa­tients and the pub­lic, and is at risk to leave the coun­try.

He is orig­i­nally from Pak­istan, where he at­tended med­i­cal school, and be­came a U.S. cit­i­zen in 2012. He’s not li­censed to prac­tice medicine in the U.S.

BOB BRAWDY Tri-City Her­ald

Sami An­war, the owner of Mid-Columbia Re­search and Zain Re­search, faces 47 fed­eral charges.

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