Charlie Ware, a licensed Hollywood, Florida acupuncturist and acupoint injection therapist, was arrested Tuesday after he was accused of administering questionable injections to as many a dozen patients, some of whom suffered ill-side effects, news sources report. Ware, 39, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on three counts of attempting to practice medicine without a license. He has since been released on a $4,500 bail bond. No attorney appears to have spoken on Ware’s behalf.
According to reports, Ware is a licensed acupuncturist who has his own office at 3800 South Ocean Drive in Hollywood, Florida. Ware is licensed to perform a special form of acupuncture called “acupoint injection therapy,” which allows acupuncturists to inject patients with FDA-authorized substances. Ware reportedly advertised his services partially through Groupon, an online coupon website.
“If [the injection is] done within the scope of the practice, there’s basically no risk factor,” a licensed acupuncturist spokesperson reportedly said regarding the case. “If [the substance is] not approved to be injected, you shouldn’t be injecting it. That’s the standard that we go by.” It is not clear whether Ware will be allowed to continue practicing acupuncture if he is released on bail pending his trial.
Ware injected at least one patient with a substance that had not been approved by the FDA, reports allege. After the arrest, Ware said he had treated at least 12 patients with Simildet, a skin-tightening substance manufactured by a Spanish pharmaceutical company. The substance contains agents suspected to be toxic and is meant to be used on the surface of the skin, sources say.
Ware is accused of injecting Simildiet into Coral Springs resident Viktoria Kogan face back in February 2012, sources allege. Kogan, 44, visited Ware’s office after someone referred her to Ware; she wanted a treatment to lessen her wrinkles, sources say. Ware purportedly failed to offer her written information on his treatment, which caused some trepidation for Kogan. However, Ware reportedly told her not to worry because he was going to inject her with “good ingredients.”
Ware allegedly injected Simildiet under Kogan’s eyes and throughout her face. Kogan reportedly paid $180 for the service. Sometime after the injections, Kogan fell ill and had to visit the emergency room numerous times. Kogan’s symptoms included persistent chills, increased blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat, and spasms. “[It] was… unbelievable,” Kogan reportedly said. “I did not sleep [for] one month. I could lie in the bed, but not [be] sleeping. This was so toxic. I was feeling… poisoned.”
Around the same time Kogan visited Ware for the injections, Ware treated Miami resident Sandra Urquiza, sources say. Urquiza learned of Ware’s practice through a Groupon offering treatments for $150. Urquiza visited Ware’s office and received intramuscular injections into both of her breasts. The injections were reportedly meant to lift her breasts without surgery. Reports did not say whether Urquiza experienced any negative side effects after the treatment.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration learned of the allegedly illegal injections. In turn, they informed informed police, who started a criminal investigation.