A Reno doctor has pleaded not guilty to federal charges of distributing an unapproved human growth hormone for purposes other than treating disease.
Dr. James Forsythe was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand
jury on one count each of introducing and distributing the drug, as
well as aiding and abetting.
It alleges that on multiple occasions between June 2003 and
February 2005, Forsythe, with the help of others, introduced a form
of human growth hormone called Bio-Tropin from Israel to Nevada.
The drug is not approved for use in the United States by the
Federal Drug Administration.
Forsthye, 68, appeared before a judge late Thursday and entered
a plea of not guilty. He surrendered earlier in the day to federal
authorities and was released on his own recognizance.
According to court documents, an undercover FDA investigator in
September 2004 asked Forsythe if he could help him feel young
Federal authorities allege Forsythe twice gave the investigator
a vial of the drug, with a label that said it was for
Forsythe told him it would reverse the effects of aging, restore
his sleep quality, improve weight control, enhance libido and
improve immune function, according to recently unsealed affidavits
in U.S. District Court in Reno.
Court documents also accuse - but do not charge - Forsythe of
receiving the hormone in the mail from smugglers and insurance
fraud by fabricating diagnosis to obtain insurance reimbursement
for unnecessary tests and treatments. Documents also assert he gave
patients misbranded vials with inadequate directions.
The U.S. attorney's office said an investigation continues and
more charges are possible.
Forsythe is the owner and medical director of Century Wellness
Clinic in Reno. His wife, Earlene, is a partner in the clinic and a
registered nurse. The pair have strong ties to the Republican Party
and served as delegates to the Republican National Convention.
Earlene Forsythe is the former chairwoman of the Nevada GOP.