How Fake Drug Importer Gallant Pharma’s D.C. Address Gave it a Veneer of Legitimacy
Though their medication it sold was neither FDA-approved nor legally imported, Gallant Pharma was able to pass itself off as a legitimate pharmaceutical supplier simply by basing their operation in a Washington D. C. suburb, and claiming their drugs were sourced from Canada.
When the Department of Justice (DOJ) originally announced the indictment of 11 people for participating in an non-FDA approved medication smuggling scheme, it was the first inkling that Gallant Pharma was anything but what they claimed they were; a Canadian pharmaceutical wholesaler. According to the DOJ, “Gallant Pharma was not licensed to distribute prescription drugs in the United States. Nonetheless, Gallant Pharma is alleged to have sold drugs to doctors, hospitals, and medical practices across the United States, generating more than $8.6 million in revenue since August 2009. Gallant Pharma allegedly employed a cadre of sales representatives with dedicated sales territories across the United States.”
Ultimately, 12 people, including both company founders, were either convicted or pleaded guilty to charges that they were running an illegal wholesale pharmaceutical importer, the Department of Justice (DOJ) reports. According to the DOJ, Gallant Pharma “an unlicensed wholesale drug distributor headquartered in Arlington, Va., that distributed more than 17,000 units of non-FDA-approved cancer and cosmetic drugs to doctors across the United States.”
The fact that Gallant Pharma used Crystal City, Virginia as their original base of operations gave their business an air of legitimacy that it did not deserve. Though they claimed their medication came from Canada, in actual fact they were selling medication manufactured by unknown sources in countries far from Canada, the DOJ reports.
According to their original indictment, “Gallant Pharma maintained a website at gallantpharma.com, which represented that Gallant Pharma was a wholesale distributor of ‘Brand Name and Generic Products’ for cosmetic surgery, plastic surgery, dermatology, pain management, neurology, anesthesiology, and oncology.” Many of the drugs they offered were subject to strict temperature controls in their genuine form, however, Gallant Pharma failed to store the medication they sold as per FDA standards. The drugs they offered were also often missing adverse effects or other important warnings required for genuine versions of the medication they sold.
While the headquarters for Gallant Pharma were located in suburban Washington D. C., the DOJ reports that indicted members of the Gallant Pharma conspiracy were working in Canada, Barbados, Michigan, Maryland, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. According to the FDA over 300 medical practices from throughout U.S. received warnings that they may have purchased unapproved medication from Gallant Pharma.