On July 11 2013 in Saint Louis, Richard J. Taylor of the United Kingdom was sentenced to 18 months in prison and required to forfeit close for $4 million in fines and penalties for his role in introducing counterfeit cancer medication into the secure U.S. drug supply chain. Taylor’s company, Richards Pharma had been found to be the source of the counterfeit version of the Turkish cancer medication Altuzan, which is branded Avastin in the United States. The FDA sent out a safety alert on the counterfeit Altuzan on April 3, 2012.
Who: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigation (FDA-OCI), Office of Inspector General for the United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Justice (DOJ).
When: July 11, 2013, 2008-2011.
Where: Saint Louis, Missouri. U.S.A.
How: FDA-OCI and Office of Inspector General for the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Additional details: Taylor recognized that selling cancer medication with Turkish labeling was “high risk, yet he pursued the sales anyway. When nurses began reporting adverse patient reactions, rather than pull the fake drugs from the market, he merely raised their prices.
“ English Citizen Sentenced For Distributing Adulterated And Counterfeit Cancer Drugs ,” U.S. Department of Justice Press Release. July 11, 2013.
“ Altuzan (bevacizumab): Counterfeit Product – Contains no Active Ingredient ,”FDA Safety Alert. April 3, 2012.
“ U.S. Sentences British Citizen for Distributing Fake Avastin ,”Wall Street Journal. July 11, 2013.
“ British man sentenced in St. Louis for distributing illegal chemo drugs ,”Saint Louis Post-Dispatch. July 11, 2013.