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The Alliance For Natural Health

The Pulse of Natural Health Newsletter

Stay informed about what is hot in Washington and the states about natural health

Texas Medical Board as Out of Control as Ever

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Concept of US national healthcare system - state of Texas Cancer pioneer Stanislaw Burzynski has just won the first round of a new and particularly underhanded attack from the TMB.

We have been telling you about Dr. Burzynski’s lifesaving antineoplaston treatment, and the persecution he has received at the hand of the Texas Medical Board. This time the TMB filed a 200-page complaint against him, which focused on alleged “FDA violations”—i.e., FDA warning letters about some minor recordkeeping deficiencies in his recently approved phase 2 clinical trials and some promotional claims for the antineoplastons. The TMB claimed that these technical violations of the federal statute were de facto violations of the state medical practice law.

Dr. Burzynski’s lawyer, Rick Jaffe, moved to dismiss all the charges on the grounds that a state medical board doesn’t have the jurisdiction to try federal issues. The judge agreed: under board statutes, only a violation of federal criminal law could justify action from the state board, and the alleged recordkeeping and promotional errors in question are not violations of criminal law. The TMB will now have to amend its complaint in order to continue the case.

Jaffe noted that citing federal violations as grounds for a state licensing action was completely unprecedented. He expects it will have a chilling effect on doctors who wish to pursue clinical trials, especially given that minor paperwork errors are not uncommon.

The TMB has been attacking Dr. Burzynski since the 1980s, and has filed two previous cases against him—one of them unsuccessful. In the other, Dr. Burzynski was ultimately found guilty of providing an unapproved new drug in violation of state and FDA law. It’s a rather serpentine history, but an associate law judge ruled in favor of Dr. Burzynski; the TMB reversed the decision; a federal district court threw out the case, but then an appellate court reversed and reinstated the TMB order.

Dr. B., however, is not the TMB’s only target. The TMB’s constant attacks on numerous Texas integrative physicians prompted the American Association of Physician and Surgeons (AAPS) to sue the TMB in 2007, charging them with “pervasive and continuing violations of…constitutional rights.”

There were eleven hours of hearings before the Texas House of Representatives. The suit spurred the resignation of TMB president Roberta Kalafut, whose tenure, according to the AAPS, “was marked by unjust disciplinary actions, particularly against her competitors, and stonewalling by the TMB and Governor Rick Perry.”

We reported on the connection between Gov. Perry and the TMB several years ago. He personally made each and every appointment to the current board, even reappointing six of them after the scandal broke. In fact, he reappointed Roberta Kalafut to the board even after she had been specifically charged in the AAPS lawsuit as “arrang[ing]for her husband to file anonymous complaints against other physicians, including her competitors in Abilene, [and]worked inside the TMB with other defendants to discipline doctors based on anonymous complaints filed by her physician husband.”

Unfortunately the AAPS’s suit against the TMB was recently dismissed, but it did help focus a spotlight on the corruption surrounding the TMB.

You may also recall that in 2010, the TMB’s attacks on Dr. Bill J. Rea, a leading researcher and clinician in the field of environmental medicine and chemical sensitivity, came to an end after his lawyer was able to prove that the TMB’s claims were unsubstantiated. The TMB had challenged Dr. Rea’s testing, diagnosis, and treatment—everything he does. They even claimed that Dr. Rea was injecting his patients with diesel fuel and harmful chemicals, a charge that was of course proved to be patently false. Instead of revoking his license, the TMB lamely told Dr. Rea to present a revised informed consent form to patients saying that his therapy is not “FDA approved.”

Spurred by the demonstrably biased behavior of the TMB, recent legislation in Texas gives doctors some welcome new protections in an effort to reduce the TMB’s abuse of power. We will keep you posted as we see these new protections in action.

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