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 Union Tribune, February 5, 2013.
"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.
"Maher Idriss Indictment," United States District Court of Southern California. May 8, 2012.