A Chattanooga doctor and his wife have agreed to pay nearly a half-million dollars to settle a case of false state and federal Medicare claims for chemotherapy drugs.

The anticancer drugs were not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for marketing in the United States.

Dr. Donald Chamberlain and Karen Chamberlain have paid $428,700 after allegations that their medical practice billed Medicare, Tennessee Medicaid (TennCare), and the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program (FEHBP) for foreign-sourced anticancer drugs from January 7, 2009 through May 2, 2012.

Chamberlain owned and operated Chattanooga Gyn-Oncology, P.C., in Chattanooga, Mrs. Chamberlain managed Dr. Chamberlain’s medical practice since the time of its inception.

The United States alleged that the unapproved drugs the Chamberlains provided to patients and billed to Medicare, TennCare, and FEHBP were not reimbursable under those programs. The United States further alleged that the Chamberlains purchased unapproved drugs because they were less expensive than the drugs approved by FDA for marketing in the United States.

The Department of Justice says that Chamberlains allegedly profited by administering the cheaper unapproved drugs.

“Administering oncology drugs manufactured in other countries and not approved by the FDA, risks the safety of our citizens,” said U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey. “We will continue to pursue aggressively, medical providers who improperly put their own financial interests ahead of the safety of their patients and who ignore rules instituted to protect the taxpayer-funded healthcare system.”