Charges Against Reno Doctor To Be Dismissed

The federal government has agreed to drop charges against a Reno doctor accused of distributing an unapproved human growth hormone, according to a court order.

The stipulated agreement signed Thursday by U.S. District Judge Howard McKibben said the U.S. Attorney's Office will dismiss the two counts against Dr. James Forsythe once a civil lawsuit is filed in the case.

The U.S. Attorney's Office on Friday called the part of the agreement that would allow for dismissal of the criminal charges inaccurate, despite Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Sullivan's signature on the document.

It also was signed by Forsythe and his lawyer, Kevin Mirch.

"The United States attorney has not agreed to dismiss criminal charges against Dr. Forsythe, nor has any motion to dismiss the indictment been filed by the United States Attorney's Office," Steven Myhre, acting Nevada U.S. attorney told officials.

Steve Wark, Forsythe's son-in-law, said the signed agreement clears Forsythe of any wrongdoing.

"It was unfortunate that this investigation was ever initiated," Forsythe said. "Everyone now understands that questioning the use of human growth hormone was terribly misguided, and I am grateful to be vindicated."

Forsythe, 68, was indicted in September after an undercover investigator with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration asked the
doctor if he could feel young again.

Forsythe gave the investigator a vial of a human growth hormone called Bio-Tropin, a drug that has not been approved for sale or use in the U.S., according to the search warrant affidavit.

He pleaded not guilty and his trial was set for Aug. 16.

The judge's order on Thursday continues the trial until Oct. 2, but said the government will dismiss the charges after a related civil suit is filed.

Mirch said not only will the charges be dropped, but the FDA reversed itself by asking Forsythe to write the first protocols for use of human growth hormone.

"This is the first time in history of the FDA that they have asked a doctor in private practice to draw up the guidelines for using a drug," Mirch said.

"This is a complete reversal of their original intentions when they went after my client two years ago."

Messages with FDA officials in Rockville, Md., were not immediately returned.

Forsythe, who bills himself as a "world renowned medical oncologist and homeopathic physician" on his Web site, is the owner 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, while Wark is a Republican consultant.