A San Diego Pharmacist, Maher Idriss, owner of Oberlin Medical Supply, has pleaded guilty to playing an integral part in a complex counterfeit cancer drug scheme that bought cancer medications in bulk form from Turkey, India, and Pakistan. The misbranded oncology drugs were then repackaged and sold as genuine, FDA-approved medications. Idriss repackaged the drugs into individual doses at his facility in San Diego. His co-conspirator, Martin Paul Bean, III, was sentenced to two years in prison for running an unlicensed wholesale online pharmacy called GlobalRxStore. Bean used fax-blast advertising to offer the drugs for sale at low prices to medical practices all over the United States.
Who: Food and Drug Administration-Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA-OCI), Department of Homeland Security-Immigration and Customs Enforcement (HIS-ICE), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
When: March 8, 2012: May 1, 2006-May 5, 2011
Where: San Diego, California
How: MHRA advised FDA that they had intercepted a bulk shipment of an unapproved form of Gemzar, sent from a company in Pakistan to Oberlin Medical Supply in San Diego.
Additional details: After a visit from Federal agents in 2011, Idriss refused to process further orders and advised Bean that what they were doing was illegal.
" Internet Pharmacy Operator Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison," FBI Press Release. September 12, 2013.
" FLORIDA BUSINESSMAN INDICTED FOR SELLING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF UNAPPROVED FOREIGN ONCOLOGY DRUGS IN UNITED STATES ," Justice Department Press Release. September 28, 2012.
" Unapproved foreign prescription drugs flow through local pharmacy ," San Diego Reader. October 2, 2012.
" Seller of Unapproved Cancer Drugs Pleads Guilty," San Diego Reader. October 2, 2012.
" Admitted Fraudster’s Medical Website Still Operating," San Diego Reader. October 5, 2012.
" Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Selling Unapproved Cancer Drugs," FBI Press Release. February 6, 2013.
" Martin Paul Dean III Indictment," United States District Court of Southern California. September 12, 2013.
"Download Maher Idriss Indictment," United States District Court of Southern California. May 8, 2012.