Friday, September 16, 2005

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Attorney General Abbott Puts An End To False Claims By Tarrant County Alternative Medicine Companies

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today announced his office has halted the practices of two Tarrant County businesses that offered illegal miracle cure drugs and herbal remedies. One man and his relatives also practiced acupuncture without a license at one location.

In the final agreements, Don Davis and his Amazon Natural Medicines Inc. in Haltom City, and Liem Nguyen and his Arlington-based Tiem Thuoc Bac & Cham Clau, agreed to stop falsely marketing and selling their products as treatments or cures for cancer, liver disease, menopause, hormonal problems and other ailments.

Media links
Attorney General's lawsuit against Tiem Thuoc Bac & Cham Clau
Tiem Thuoc Bac & Cham Clau final judgment & permanent injunction
Attorney General's lawsuit against Amazon Natural Medicines
Amazon Natural Medicines, Inc. final judgment & permanent injunction

“As Attorney General, I will not tolerate companies that deceptively claim to cure deadly diseases,” said Attorney General Abbott. “Earlier this week, we stopped another company from falsely claiming thermal massage beds could cure cancer, now we have taken action against two North Texas businesses that are making equally unfounded claims about herbal medicines and exotic treatments. Consumers should be wary of these unproven assertions when it comes to their health and preventing disease.”

According to the Attorney General’s lawsuit, Amazon Natural Medicines and Davis operated from the offices of the Landmark Baptist Church and offered for sale unapproved Brazilian drugs to patients with Stage IV cancer.

Davis charged up to $3,000 for the “treatments” which he claimed could cure cancer. He promoted #5 Lufatide as killing the enzymes cancers need to grow, #6 Hematide as strengthening the blood and immune system, and #1 Desensibilisante as a detoxifying agent to rid the body of cancer cells.

In the second case, the Attorney General’s investigation found that Nguyen, who is not licensed by the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners, briefly consulted with patients, took their pulse, then proceeded to mix a number of herbs, transforming them into what amounted to unapproved medicines for the patients’ consumption. Nguyen also made medications available that he prepackaged in-house, sometimes mailing these products to patients in other states.

In addition to “prescribing” unapproved new drugs for a range of serious cancer, hormonal and liver problems, the defendant and his nieces engaged in the unlicensed practice of acupuncture in the store.

Most of the products found in the store were shipped from Chi Thanh Trading Co. in Oakland, Calif., but originated from China. The actual ingredients are not listed in English. The unapproved products in the store are labeled, for example, as “man pills,” “pancreas support pills,” “anti-cancer pills” and “gold pills” for heart problems, the latter of which cost from $30-50 each.

The cases were referred by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Neither company has state licensing or approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to operate these types of businesses.

The companies had numerous violations of the Texas Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. They agreed to destroy all unapproved products and must refrain from using these substances or engaging in the unauthorized practice of medicine in the future unless they obtain proper approval. The companies must pay $7,000 each in penalties, with another $12,000 held in escrow pending all product destruction and necessary remodeling by Nguyen to comply with health and hygiene laws.