Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Arizona Couple Pleads Guilty to Peddling $2.5M in Fake Drugs

According to the Seattle Times, Mr. and Mrs. French, a middle-age couple from Arizona, pleaded guilty to selling counterfeit drugs over the internet.

From 2004 – 2006 their illegal prescription drug business, Prescription Buyers Group, offered over 600 name-brand medicines that were in fact Indian knock-offs to unsuspecting customers. The revenue generated from these illegal sales amounted to over $2.5 million and included drugs such as Viagra, Celebrex, and Lipitor.

The couple will be sentenced Sept. 21. They are facing up to five years in federal prison for the conspiracy charge, and the introducing misbranded drugs charge could net them up to three years in prison. The couple also agreed to forfeit all profits to the government, United States Attorney's Office spokeswoman Sandy Raynor said.

This story is just one of many examples of how counterfeiting has increased in the United States and one should certainly heed the saying "Buyer Beware." Consumers should be cautious of buying prescriptions over the internet from anyone other than VIPP certified pharmacies. Distributors should not only verify their suppliers but also verify their supply itself through molecular authentication.

The life you protect could be your own or one who depends on you to keep their medicine safe.

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