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Iowa doctor to pay $176,000 to settle federal allegations

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines doctor has agreed to pay more than $176,000 to settle federal allegations that his clinic submitted bills for unapproved or counterfeit cancer drugs.

Dr. Magdy Elsawy was accused of purchasing the drugs in 2012 from a company that distributed faulty or fake medications, the Des Moines Register reports. He denies wrongdoing, and he has not been charged with any crimes.

Federal officials say in settlement documents released Tuesday, Nov. 29, that Elsawy’s Hematology and Oncology Center of Iowa “improperly submitted claims to Medicare and Medicaid for cancer treatments when (the clinic) knew or recklessly disregarded the fact that the drugs used in those treatments were unapproved, misbranded or counterfeits.”

The clinic’s lawyer, Dulce Foster, said her client’s payment “is in no way a reflection of any wrongdoing.”