4 Deaths Tied to Counterfeit Drugs Dispensed at Ontario, Canada Pharmacy

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King West Pharmacy in Hamilton, Ontario came under scrutiny and the pharmacist of record there was arrested after 11 people died after being prescribed what turned out to be counterfeit versions of Norvasc, a Pfizer heart medication. The pills were actually made of talcum powder.

Who: Ontario Regional Coroner’s Office, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Health Canada.

When: September 9 2005; May-September 2005.

Where: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

How: Patient brought pills to different pharmacist because they looked different, who then sent them on the manufacturer where they were found to be counterfeit.

Additional details: Of the 11 people who died after receiving fake Norvasc from the King West Pharmacy, the coroner determined that 4 of the deaths were classified as undetermined with unauthorized medication substitution as the possible cause.

Related sources:

Hamilton Pharmacist Charged with Handing Out Counterfeit Drugs,” CBC News Canada. September 10, 2005.

Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals in Canada,” Criminal Intelligence Service Canada. May 14, 2010.

Chief Coroner Makes Recommendations Resulting from Investigation into 11 Hamilton Deaths.,” Ontario News. January 9, 2006.

“Disciplining’ Canadian Pharmacists – from Nevada,” Nevada Policy Research Institute. September 27, 2005.

Health Canada to Crack Down on Fake Pills.,” Canada.com. July 23, 2007.

Revoke Druggist’s Licence, College Told,” The Star Ontatio. October 17, 2007.

CACN Laments Acquital of Purveyor of Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals.,” Market Wired. March 2, 2007.