CHICAGO — A Chicago-area physician unlawfully used veterinary catheters to perform intrauterine inseminations on his patients, according to a federal criminal charge filed today.
A criminal information filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago accuses JOEL G. BRASCH of unlawfully using the veterinary catheter devices on his patients from 2016 to 2018. The devices were considered adulterated in that they had not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use on human patients.
Dr. Brasch, 61, of Skokie, Ill., is charged with receipt in interstate commerce and delivery of an adulterated device. The charge is punishable by a maximum sentence of a year in federal prison and a fine of up to $100,000. Arraignment in federal court has not yet been scheduled.
The charge was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Lynda M. Burdelik, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations; and Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management provided valuable assistance. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah E. Streicker and Corey B. Rubenstein.
“The use of a veterinary device in a medical procedure like IUI poses a danger to the health and safety of patients,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to hold accountable those who endanger the public health through the use of adulterated medical devices.”
“In procedures such as IUI, every step should strictly follow protocols in order to protect the patient’s health and safety and ensure the efficacy of the procedure,” said FDA SAC Burdelik. “Utilizing instruments designed for animal use in humans can put patients at risk. We will continue to investigate and bring to justice those who use unapproved devices on their human patients.”
“Our citizens place an immense amount of trust in healthcare professionals and the public should feel confident in the knowledge that the FBI works tirelessly with our partners to ensure that that trust is not misplaced,” said FBI SAC Buie.
The public is reminded that an information is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.