Canadian pharmaceutical importer Quantum Solutions and its officers have been charged with two felony counts by the DOJ. Quantum Solutions runs a dozen different pharmacy websites, including Canada Drug Center. Dr. Kenneth McCall, of the University of New England, tested prescriptions from Canada Drug Center in 2014, and found they were substandard and contaminated.
Three Canadians and the company they run have been charged in Federal court for “conspiring to distribute wholesale quantities of misbranded prescription drugs made for the foreign market and money laundering,” according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
Tony Lee, Billy Lee and Tarn Uppal are alleged to have used their company, Quantum Solutions, to import misbranded prescription medications into the United States in wholesale quantities to pharmacists in Pennsylvania, the DOJ reports.
According to the Information sheet filing, Quantum Solutions supplied their clients by importing foreign-produced medications from suppliers in “Turkey, Great Britain, and other countries.” They used a drop-shipper located in New York to repackage the drugs and send them along to American customers.
The information sheet filing also includes an addendum list of 241 different Internet pharmacy sites owned by Quantum Solutions, including Canada Drug Center. In 2014, the state of Maine legalized foreign drug importation; Dr. Kenneth McCall, then President of the Maine Pharmacy Association, purchased medications from Canada Drug Center, owned by Quantum Solutions. He received generic versions of Plavix, Celebrex, and Nexium that came directly from India, Turkey, and Mauritius instead of from the Canadian drug supply advertised.
McCall conducted compositional tests on the drugs he received and found the generic Nexium contained only 58% of the stated dose, the generic Celebrex was only 77% of a standard dose, and the generic Plavix included an unknown contaminant.
A report in Legitscript points out that seven of the online pharmacies listed in the Quantum Solutions Information filing sheet, including Canada Drug Center, are listed as certified “safe” Internet pharmacies by both PharmacyChecker and the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA), a Canadian Internet Pharmacy trade group.
According to the DOJ, “the filing of an Information generally indicates that the defendant intends to enter a guilty plea.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations are investigating this case.
Read more about the results of Dr. McCall’s testing of drugs from Canada Drug Center here, or click on the image.