News and Press Releases

Former Family Physician Sentenced to Probation, Community Service for Selling Drug Samples

March 7, 2014

PITTSBURGH – A Pittsburgh-area family doctor has been sentenced in federal court to one year of probation with 200 hours of community service and a $5000 fine on his conviction of the unlawful sale of pharmaceutical drug samples, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab imposed the sentence on Douglas Dunham, 77, of McDonald, Pa.

According to information presented to the court, Dunham operated a family practice medical office in McDonald, Pa., for over 20 years. In his practice, Dunham received free samples of prescription drugs from pharmaceutical drug company representatives. The free samples were not intended to be sold, and were intended to be given free-of-charge to patients to promote the sale of the drugs. For roughly the past eight years, Dunham received the drug samples free-of-charge from the pharmaceutical drug company representatives and then sold the samples to his patients for a fee, instead of providing the samples free-of-charge.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Schwab stated that he considered the defendant’s voluntary surrender of his medical license to be part of the defendant’s punishment in this case.

Assistant United States Attorney Tonya Sulia Goodman prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended Federal Agents with the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Criminal Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Health and Human Services for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Dunham.

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