No Verdict Delivered Wed.; Deliberations Resumed Today
BY KEN LITTLE
A U.S. District Court jury deliberated more than seven hours on Wednesday without reaching a verdict in the joint trial of Dr. Anindya Sen and his wife, Patricia Posey Sen.
The jury resumed deliberations at 9 a.m. this morning.
Judge J. Ronnie Greer sent the panel home about 5 p.m. Wednesday.
The jury began its deliberations Wednesday morning after six days of testimony. The trial enters its eighth day today.
The government alleges that Sen's practice, East Tennessee Hematology, Oncology and Internal Medicine, ordered foreign drugs that are not approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Patricia Sen is office manager of the practice. The main office is on Tusculum Boulevard in Greeneville, with a satellite location in Johnson City.
Medicare, TennCare and private healthcare providers such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield were billed $3.2 million for misbranded drugs given to clinic patients, prosecutors said.
The alleged offenses occurred between 2009 and early 2012.
Anindya Sen is charged with 29 misdemeanor violations of causing the introduction into interstate commerce of misbranded drugs. Patricia Sen is charged with 29 felony counts of the same statute.
Patricia Sen is also charged with 44 counts of engaging in a scheme to defraud health care benefit programs, seven counts of receiving merchandise imported contrary to law, and two counts of making a false material statement to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration special agent.
The government alleges that misbranded drugs that are not approved by the FDA were ordered by the practice from a Canadian Company called Clinical Care. The unapproved drugs were administered to patients at the clinics, according to trial testimony.
The government alleges that the practice billed the
providers for unapproved drugs, using the brand names of FDA-approved drugs.
The Sens maintain their innocence. A multi-count grand jury indictment in June outlined the government's case against the Sens.
No testimony was presented at trial that any of the drugs given to Sen's patients harmed them.
The prosecution rested its case Tuesday after about 20 witnesses testified. The defense rested without calling any witnesses. The Sens did not testify.
Edward M. Yarbrough, lawyer for Anindya Sen, said at trial the Sens were not aware that the clinic was receiving and administering unapproved drugs.
Prosecutors introduced evidence at trial that included invoices, billing forms and other documents which, they maintain, prove that Patricia Sen, and possibly Anindya Sen, knowingly purchased the misbranded drugs.
Greed was the motivating factor, Assistant U.S. Attorney M. Neil Smith said at trial.
Trial testimony showed that the foreign-brand drugs from Clinical Care cost 80 percent of what their U.S. counterparts cost, or less.
The Sens remain free on bond.