When a doctor decides the kind and dosage of medication a patient needs, it is not just guess work. Pharmacogenetic or pharmacogenomic testing makes this process more accurate by identifying genetic variations that affect how an individual metabolizes certain drugs. It helps predict accurate effectiveness and side effects of specific medications. It improves drug or dose selection for 56 common medicines such as proton-pump inhibitors and antidepressants.
Yet, some have managed to turn this medical advance into a criminal enterprise, including five North Texans who now face federal prison.
On Monday, Edwin Chad Isbell, 48, of McKinney, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit illegal health care remunerations. According to Jan. 26 news release, Isbell participated in a scheme that included paying and receiving $28 million worth of kickbacks in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute. He wasn’t alone. Federal officials charged 13 people from three states in December 2019, including three people from Frisco — James J. Walker, Jr. a/k/a Jimmy Walker, Timothy Armstrong and Virginia Blake Herrin — and one from Dallas — Ray W. Ng.