NBC news show examines the clandestine business of administering non-FDA approved beauty treatments.
The new episode of American Greed, titled “Vanity and Greed: Deadly Beauty”, the NBC show looks at the story of two convicted practitioners of counterfeit beauty treatments. Mississippi resident Tracey Lynn Garner was found guilty of murder in the death of Karima Gordon, according to NOLA.com. Garner was accused of administering industrial-grade silicone in her home that resulted in Gordon’s death.
According to CBS, Garner was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Karima Gordon.
CBS News reports that Garner was also responsible for the death of a second woman, Marilyn Hale. This case has yet to go to trial.
American Greed also looks at the case of Dr. Chad Livdahl and his wife Zaria Karim. According to the FDA, Livdahl and Karim were responsible for distributing a counterfeit version of Botox via their company TRI, that contained live botulinum toxin. 4 people in Florida sustained life-threatening infections with botulism as a result of the TRI fake Botox.
According to the FDA, “OCI agents arrested four individuals associated with TRI. Chad Livdahl, TRI’s president, was convicted of fraud and misbranding a drug and sentenced to nine years in prison. His wife and co-owner, Zahra Karim, was sentenced to almost six years in prison. Other co-conspirators got lesser sentences.”
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By S. Imber
Prosecutors move forward on closing the book on the counterfeit cancer drug ring that has infiltrated US cancer clinics by indicting a Canadian online pharmacy company.
On August 7, 2015, US Attorneys for the District of Montana requested the unsealing of the indictment in the case “USA v. CanadaDrugs.com Ltd. Partnership.” The unsealed indictment, originally returned by the grand jury in November 2014, lists 14 defendants including, Canada Drugs. Com Ltd., Parternship, Thorkelson Consulting, Ltd., 4208081 Canada, Ltd., Rockley Ventures, Ltd., Global Drug Supply, Ltd., River East Supplies, Ltd., Kristjan Thorkelson, Thomas Haughton, Ronald Sigurdson, Troy Nakamura, Darren Chalus, Narinder Kaulder, James Trueman and Ram Kamath, reports The Associated Press.
Prosecutors allege that CanadaDrugs.com sold $78 million worth of unapproved, mislabeled and counterfeit cancer drugs to doctors across the United States over three years. In April 2015, the Canadian Department of Justice, along with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), raided Canada Drugs.com headquarters in Manitoba. The company’s wholesale prescription drug license was temporarily suspended in January 2014.
Allegedly, CanadaDrugs.com and its subsidiaries sold non-FDA approved and counterfeit versions of cancer drugs and other medications until 2012, when the FDA began its investigations. Investigators found counterfeit and non-FDA approved cancer medications in US doctors’ offices that had allegedly been purchased from CanadaDrugs.com and its subsidiary companies.
On February 14, 2012, the FDA made their discoveries public:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning health care professionals and patients about a counterfeit version of Avastin 400mg/16mL, which may have been purchased and used by some medical practices in the United States. Avastin is an injectable medicine used to treat cancer and is administered to patients in clinics, hospitals, and doctors’ offices. The counterfeit version of Avastin does not contain the medicine’s active ingredient, bevacizumab, which may have resulted in patients not receiving needed therapy.
The medication allegedly distributed by CanadaDrugs.com contained, “contain cornstarch and acetone but no active ingredients,” reports CBC/Radio Canada.
Learn more about the distribution of counterfeit cancer medications in the United States in our materials.
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