Canada already has a past in selling counterfeit medicines online. Canadian drugs have become a vital link for Americans who find drugs too expensive. Hundreds of online pharmacies were found to sell counterfeited and fraudulent medicines to naïve American citizens for the last decade and has earned millions of dollars. The business soon grew into large enterprise. Soon enough, even rare alternative medicine ingredients from as far as Jakarta, Indonesia and Hanoi, Vietnam are being advertised. From mere headache medicines like Paracetamol to erectile dysfunction drugs such as Viagra and Cialis, the products have also expanded to include even medicines claiming to cure cancer.
Two months ago, another case of counterfeiting is traced back to Canadian online pharmacy.
U.S. government prosecutors is currently accusing a Canadian pharmacy of selling $78 million worth of unapproved, mislabeled and counterfeit drugs to doctors across the United States.
The indictment, filed in U.S. district court in Montana, charges a major Canadian online pharmacy and a number of other related entities and people, including an American doctor.
It is also told that Canada Drugs has been working with other affiliates from the United Kingdoms and Barbados and should be charged with smuggling, money laundering and conspiracy. Thirteen of the 14 companies and individuals named as defendants are located outside the U.S. and have not appeared to face the charges, leading prosecutors to undertake a possibly lengthy extradition process. Only Ram Kamath of Illinois was actually arrested, according to a report submitted to The Peterson Group, one of the leading sources of information on counterfeit medicines. However, Kamath, who is charged with a single count of conspiracy to smuggle goods into the U.S. was freed without bond, and recently was allowed to take a cruise to Alaska since his crime is considered less serious than that of the others involved.
The company, 14 years in operation Canada Drugs, also faces a complaint for selling a non-US approved Turkish version of Avastin, called Altuzan, to US doctors and that shipment included counterfeit packs of the medicine, according to prosecutors.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) who plays a vital role in the prosecution has declined to comment. It is not clear that the prosecution will put a dent in such online retail sales by Canada Drugs, or any other pharmacy that exports prescription drugs to the U.S, even though it is technically illegal for Americans to import drugs from international pharmacies.