A 69-year-old man is being investigated following reports that he posed as a doctor and treated a cancer sufferer with a combination of expired medicines and a bag of dirt.
SF Weekly reports that Vincent Gammill from El Cerritto, Contra Costa County, California, who operated out of an office in Richmond, was allegedly administering fake treatments to a late-stage cancer sufferer, a 49-year-old woman from Thousand Oaks.
The female patient, who has not been identified, according to an SFGate report, was examined by Gammill — who is alleged to have told her that she should change the dosage of medicines prescribed by her primary care physician — and given a number of powders, liquid vials, some empty capsules and expired medicines including meds labeled in Russian and a bag containing dirt. After being shown how to prepare the elixir by the allegedly fake quack, the woman swallowed a capsule containing the mixture and reportedly began to experience a “burning feeling” in her stomach. Gammill is said to have reassured her that the burning sensation signified that the ingredients were still active and that it was a good sign.
A subsequent complaint by the woman led to investigations by a number of agencies in Ventura County that specialize in investigating pharmaceutical-related crimes.
Agencies reportedly found no evidence of Gammill having obtained any medical training, with his website stating that he offers “alternative and complimentary care for those with cancer.”
Gammill was arrested by investigators on July 9 and charged by Ventura County district attorney’s office with unlawful practice of medicine, furnishing drugs without a license and elder or dependent adult abuse. Gammill is set to be arraigned on August 31 in Ventura County Superior Court.
According the SF Weekly, Gammill had taken more than $2,000 in fees from the woman. When asked by KNTV about the woman’s claims against him, Gammill stated that he believed she was looking for attention.