A Changhua County man who was found guilty of fraudulently practicing medicine for 13 years has been sentenced to four years in prison by the High Court’s Taichung branch in a second ruling.
In the first ruling in 2018, the man, surnamed Hsu (許), was sentenced to two years and six months in prison for practicing medicine without a license from 2005 to 2015, police said.
During the appeals process, investigators discovered that Hsu had continued to illegally practice medicine while he was being tried at the Nantou District Court.
During the district court trial, from 2015 to 2018, Hsu — a junior-high school graduate with no medical training — sold NT$2.11 million (US$73,213) of elixirs that he made and pitched as a cure-all, police said.
Hsu told one customer diagnosed with intestinal cancer that instead of getting treated at a hospital, he should drink the elixir, which Hsu claimed would cure him in four months, the police said, adding that the man died from his condition one month after consulting with Hsu.
From 2005 to 2015, Hsu sold the elixir from his home in Yuanlin City (員林), claiming it could cure any ailment or condition, including acne, diabetes, cancer, menopause and the effects of a stroke, court documents from the first ruling said.
An analysis of the elixir showed that it had concentrated amounts of common ingredients used in traditional Chinese medicine, such as Angelica sinensis, commonly known as female ginseng, and dried orange peels.
The elixir was expensive, with one customer spending NT$180,000 over three consultations.
In 2015, after Hsu was first investigated by police and charged, he moved to Nantou and continued to sell the elixir, charging from NT$15,000 to NT$40,000 per bottle, court documents from the second ruling said.
Police said they have identified 10 of Lin’s customers, including a woman surnamed Lin (林).
Lin consulted with Hsu 11 times about losing weight, spending more than NT$380,000, and later developing a persistent cough and high blood pressure from taking the elixir, police said.
After Hsu was initially sentenced by the district court for breaches of the Physicians’ Act (醫師法) and the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act (藥事法), the defendant and the prosecutors requested an appeal.
As Hsu continued to sell the elixir, the High Court found that he showed no remorse for his crimes and increased his sentence to four years, the documents from the second ruling said.
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