Archive for April 2013

Operator of Canada Drugs Subsidiary Pleads Guilty in Counterfeit Drugs Case

When counterfeit cancer medication was found in US distribution at doctors’ offices throughout the country, the source of the fake drugs was traced to Canada Drugs affiliate, Montana Healthcare Solutions (MHS). Now the Wall Street Journal is reporting that a man who marketed the fake cancer drugs to US doctors is due to plead guilty to felony charges in the case.

On March 21, 2013, Paul Bottomley, a UK citizen and founder of Montana Healthcare Solutions, signed a plea agreement wherein he accepted his guilt for his role in the distribution of counterfeit cancer medication, reports the Wall Street Journal. According to the  Plea Agreement, Bottomley waved the right to a jury trial and agreed to plead guilty to misprision of a felony, or aiding in the commission of a felony. The plea agreement also states that Bottomley “maintains he can provide substantial assistance to the United States” and in so doing, further reduce his sentence.  

Bottomley had previously agreed to forfeit the proceeds of his business to the Federal Government, including land and an ostentasiously expensive Aston Martin, sold at auction for $110,000, reports the Missoulan.

Bottomley initially denied any connection to the fake Avastin distribution, telling CBS news via text that Montana Healthcare Solutions had shut down in 2010, and that he “knew nothing of this Avastin matter.” Subsequent investigations however linked him to the sale of the fake Avastin. CBS reports further that a doctor they spoke to received a price sheet in 2011 from MHS with Bottomley listed as the “Business Development Director.”

Back in February 2012 when the FDA first reported that counterfeit Avastin had been found at US doctors’ offices, they identified Montana Healthcare Solutions as one of the suppliers. At that time MHS’s links to online pharmacy giant Canada Drugs were not as yet understood. In July of 2012, the Wall Street Journal linked the two companies in print for the first time. Montana Healthcare Solutions has since been identified by the FDA as “owned and operated by Canada Drugs.”

In related news, The Winnepeg Sun is reporting that Canada Drugs has laid off hundreds of employees in the wake of the FDA’s efforts to shut down their US operations.

To learn more about the safety of purported Canadian Internet pharmacies, and to insure that your medicine stays safe read “The 5 Secrets Canadian Web Pharmacies Don’t Want You To Know.” 

To learn more about the counterfeit Avastin case, and check to see if your doctor received a warning letter from the FDA about fake cancer medication, read our Update on Fake Avastin.

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London Raid Finds $750K in Misbranded Drugs

View larger map A police raid in West London netted over $750,000 worth of misbranded and unlicensed prescription drugs. Investigators from the MHRA believe the stash were manufactured in India, and were packaged and stored in unsanitary conditions in the London flat. About 150,000 pills were seized. Most of the misbranded drugs were drugs for…

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Oklahoma Clinic Owners Sentenced in Misbranded Drugs Case

  The Oklahoma Male Clinic offered treatment specifically tailored for men, but with little regard for patients’ health or medical history. The two owners of the clinic chain have now been sentenced to probation for selling misbranded drugs, and their business shuttered by Federal agents. On March 19, 2013 two men, Michael Schueter and Thomas…

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Chicago Pharmacist Charged with Substituting Chinese Counterfeits for Genuine Medication

View larger map Michael Markiewicz, a Chicago area pharmacist, was indicted in Federal court April 18th 2013 on charges that instead of filling prescriptions with genuine ED medication, he purchased Chinese-made counterfeits and substituted them for the real drugs. Markiewicz was charged with eight counts of violating the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act; four…

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British Fake Pharmacy Actually Selling Counterfeit Drugs From Pakistan: Four Sentenced

4 Wales residents were sentenced in a counterfeit drugs case spanning Europe. The four accepted delivery of counterfeit & illicit drugs from Pakistan, which they then repackaged and shipped to online customers in the European Union.

On March 27, 2013, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the United Kingdom announced the sentences of 4 defendants in a counterfeit drug operation spanning from Wales to Pakistan.

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Liang BA*, Mackey TK, Lovett KM. Illegal “No Prescription” Internet Access to Narrow Therapeutic Index Drugs. Clin Ther. 2013 Apr 15; S0149-2918(13)00167-7.

Abstract BACKGROUND: Narrow therapeutic index (NTI) drugs, because of proximity of therapeutic amounts to toxic amounts, require close professional oversight, particularly when switching formulations. However, safe use may be compromised by unsupervised switching through access to online "no prescription" Web sites. OBJECTIVE: We assessed no prescription online availability of NTI drugs, using an academically published…

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