Home San Diego Press Releases 2009 Man Charged for Posing as Doctor, Providing Misbranded Drugs Victims Promised Successful Cancer and Arthritis...
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Man Charged for Posing as Doctor, Providing Misbranded Drugs Victims Promised Successful Cancer and Arthritis Treatments

U.S. Attorney’s Office April 09, 2009
  • Southern District of California (619) 557-5610

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis announced today that a South Bay man has been arrested and charged for practicing medicine without a license and supplying patients with supplements containing non-FDA-approved drugs. An investigation led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in cooperation with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and District Attorney’s Office led to the arrest. Kurt Walter Donsbach, 73, of Bonita, is charged with 11 felony counts including treating patients without a license, misbranding drugs for sale, grand theft, unlawfully dispensing drugs as a cure for cancer and falsely representing a cure for cancer. If convicted, he faces up to six years in state prison.

“The defendant preyed on vulnerable patients who were looking for medical help,” said DA Dumanis. “Under the guise of providing natural and safe supplements, he sold victims potentially dangerous drugs.”

Donsbach identified himself as a “chiropractor and naturopathic doctor” in literature and online at www.letstalkhealth.com. Through a weekly, online radio broadcast from Chula Vista, he claimed to offer “alternative,” “natural,” and “nutritional” remedies for many conditions and ailments including cancer and autoimmune disorders. Donsbach is not licensed as a physician, chiropractor, nor naturopathic doctor in the State of California.

Donsbach’s clinic advised one patient to inject herself with “neuropeptides” to treat arthritis, saying it would “re-program” her body’s T-cells. FDA tests revealed the “neuropeptide” contained a steroid not disclosed on the packaging or labels. The patient paid thousands of dollars for the drugs and injected herself for six years, leading to severe bone density loss.

In another case, Donsbach claimed he had treated pancreatic cancer successfully about 60 percent of the time and provided a supplement to a patient. FDA tests of the supplement revealed the presence of the drug nimesulide, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory not approved by the FDA. In Europe, marketing of nimesulide has been suspended because of high rates of liver failure that resulted in deaths and liver transplants.

Other customers or “patients” of Donsbach should be wary of so-called “natural” or “dietary” supplements that may have been provided to them. According to the FDA, the fact that a dietary supplement has been adulterated with nimesulide poses an imminent hazard to the public health and could result in significant morbidity and mortality.

Donsbach was arrested during his internet radio broadcast this morning and booked into the San Diego County jail on $1,500,000 bail. An arraignment in San Diego Superior Court downtown is expected at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, April 10.

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