Co-Owner of Black Market Pharmaceutical Wholesaler Gallant Pharma Sentenced to 3 Years, Fined $3.4 Million.


Syed “Farhan” Huda, co-owner of Gallant Pharma International, is one of 12 people convicted for their roles in operating a vast unlicensed pharmaceutical wholesale operation from suburban Virginia. Last year, Huda pleaded guilty to illegal importation, introducing misbranded drugs, unlicensed medical wholesaling and wire fraud.

Five months after pleading guilty to charges that he was responsible for the creation and operation of Gallant Pharma International, Syed “Farhan” Huda has been sentenced to 36 months in prison, followed by 2 years of supervised release, reports the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Agency Division (DEA). Headquartered in Virginia, Gallant Pharma supplied medical offices all over the United States with cancer medications and other drugs that had been purchased abroad on the black market, according to the DEA report.

According to a report by the Department of Justice (DOJ) at the time of Huda’s guilty plea, the company specialized in many drugs that require strict temperature controls to preserve their potency. Gallant Pharma took little notice of these requirements and shipped and received those drugs under the wrong temperature conditions without dry ice as required. Many of the drugs Gallant Pharma offered for sale were drugs that required a “black box” warning, which indicates that a drug has a significant risk of serious or life-threatening adverse effects. None of the drugs sold by Gallant Pharma met any FDA labeling requirements.

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According to a March 7 2014 report in the Alexandria News, Gallant Pharma’s co-owner and Huda’s partner-in-crime was also sentenced to 3 years in prison and a $3.4 million fine. Talib Kahn pleaded guilty to selling misbranded chemotherapy and cosmetic drugs, and conspiracy to commit importation fraud, sell misbranded drugs, distribute prescription drugs without a license, and defraud the FDA, according to an FDA report on Huda’s guilty plea.

KGW reports that 12 people have been convicted thus far in the Gallant Pharma case.Two additional defendants named in the indictment, Robert Wachna and Munajj Rochelle, remain fugitives and are believed to be in Canada, reports the DEA.

Gallant Pharma smuggled and sold over $12.4 million worth of non-FDA-approved chemotherapy drugs and injectable cosmetic drugs and devices between 2009 and 2013, reports US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE.)

This case was investigated by DEA’s Group 33 Diversion Task Force FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations, ICE-HSI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, with assistance from INTERPOL and the Arlington County Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSAs) Lindsay Kelly, Maya Song and Jay Prabhu are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

AUSA Lindsay Kelly will be speaking at Interchange 2014 on September 18th, in Washington, DC, to discuss patient safety and criminal prosecution. Register today to learn more about what Federal prosecutors are doing to combat black market medication.