Man who faked drug trials ordered not to practice medicine

The Washington State Department of Health has ordered the owner of a former medical research company not to practice medicine in the state.

Sami Anwar, 43, is now serving a 28-year sentence in federal prison after faking medical drug trials, The Tri-City Herald reported.

He has been jailed since November 2018 when a federal grand jury returned indictments that led to conviction on 47 felony counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud, fraudulently obtaining controlled substances and furnishing materially false information to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

In July 2019, the Washington Department of Health’s Unlicensed Practice Program told Anwar it planned to issue a cease-and-desist order because he had no physician’s license. The final order announced this month completes the Department of Health case and includes a $1,000 fine.

His federal court sentence included an order to pay $1.9 million in restitution to fraud victims, and federal officials have tried to recover $5.6 million from his assets.

Anwar operated Mid-Columbia Research and Zain Research in Richland. He trained as a medical doctor in Pakistan before moving to the United States in 2008. A naturalized citizen, he was unable to get his medical license in the U.S. so he turned to research. For six years he collected millions of dollars from pharmaceutical companies and sponsors while claiming to be testing medicine for various studies.

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Instead, he dumped some medications, told his employees to falsify records and kept incomplete records when study participants were given experimental drugs. In one case, a man died while serving as a test subject in two different clinical trials at the same time.

Federal prosecutors said his actions placed "millions of citizens in real danger through his intentional submission of fraudulent and corrupt medical data into a public health system that Americans rely on every day."