SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The Medical Board of California has put a Coronado-based doctor on probation for five years after he prescribed hormones that weren’t FDA-approved to female patients wanting to lose weight.
In a recently published decision, the agency says Dr. Roozbeh Badii committed “gross negligence” in his care of three female patients while working for Nu Image Medical, a website that connects patients remotely with doctors.
The Medical Board said Dr. Badii, who has a Coronado address, prescribed the hormone HCG, which is produced by the placenta during pregnancy.
“There are no FDA-approved HCG products for weight loss or the treatment of obesity,” the decision says.
The medical board also found the physician was giving patients Ipamorelin, which isn’t FDA-approved for human use to patients.
The potent growth hormone is sometimes used by athletes as a performance-enhancing drug and is banned by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
Dr. Badii failed to document a discussion with the patients and a justification for prescribing the hormones, the medical board said in its decision to put him on probation for five years.
The head of medical ethics at NYU Grossman School of Medicine said he found the board’s decision encouraging.
“They were tough on this physician basically saying, 'You prescribed something that was outside the standard of care, not what normally would be used in trying to help someone achieve weight loss. You didn't really have a careful discussion of the risks and benefits of doing this with the patient,'” Dr. Art Caplan told ABC 10News.
Caplan said doctors have the freedom to prescribe a wide range of drugs even against what the FDA says.
“But if you do it, you better have consent and tell the patient that's what we're doing. We're going off label. We're going outside the recommendation of the regulator, the FDA, here,” he said.
The FDA has had a warning on HCG since 1975. It says some patients using the hormone injections for weight loss have reported depression, cardiac arrest and even death.
The medical board’s decision prevents Dr. Badii from doing telemedicine for one year.
It’s not the first time he’s had limitations placed on his ability to practice medicine.
In 2020, his license in Maryland was suspended for one year. He’s also been disciplined in Connecticut and Massachusetts. He previously had his license suspended in Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Michigan, according to the Medical Board of California.
Neither the physician, Nu Image Medical, nor his attorney returned requests for comment.