Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Doctors Illegally Obtain IUDs, at Least 850 Women Affected

(Alternate title: Because if it's going in a uterus, you might as well buy it out of the trunk of a hoopty)*

According to this LA Times story, "At least 850 women in Southern California are being notified by letter that their physicians are being investigated for allegedly illegally obtaining contraceptives from unlicensed Internet- or Mexico-based vendors, state health officials said." No specific health threat was identified, and a state health official stated for the piece that IUDs do seem to be safe effective in other countries.

From the article:
  • "Doctors in California are required to buy IUDs from licensed distributors in the U.S."

  • "Authorities ordered the eight physicians identified in the probe to send letters to all women who had received IUDs since Jan. 1, 2005, whether they were being treated in a state-funded program or not. Patients were advised to consult with a physician on whether to leave any unapproved IUD in place. Women who have already had such IUDs removed do not need to take any action."

  • "Officials identified one physician, Dr. Hezekiah Moore of Long Beach, who they alleged has not agreed to notify his patients as directed. Health authorities are seeking to suspend Moore from receiving state money for providing care to the poor under Medi-Cal and the Family PACT program. Because Moore has refused to send the letters, the state will send letters notifying the 52 patients in those programs. Moore said he has been notifying his patients about the issue but objected to the state's request that he send a letter implying that he might have violated state and federal law."

  • "Authorities declined to name the other seven physicians because they remain under investigation. They have offices in Alhambra, Downey, Glendale, Hemet, Los Angeles, Norwalk, Santa Ana and Van Nuys."

    (Found via this Kaiser Network report)

    *No, you really shouldn't.

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