Firm asks MDs to take patients offshore for unapproved care

A U.S. firm has begun drawing attention for an unusual practice--asking doctors to take patients offshore to administer an investigational prostate cancer treatment not yet approved by the FDA. The company, US HIFU, is working to build a network of American urologists who are willing to perform its treatments, which can pay them about $7,500 each. The treatments, known as High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, can earn the urologists about five times as much as doctors earn for performing other prostate cancer procedures, according to the firm. To date, US HIFU has attracted about 30 American physicians, who are now certified to use its equipment. To date, it seems that regulators haven't come down on the company, but their approach does make one wonder whether they're going to face unfriendly scrutiny soon. After all, while their pitch may be legal, I'm sure the FDA, for one, doesn't like being skirted this way.

To find out more about US HIFU:
- read this piece from The New York Times
- review the US HIFU site

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