Sunday, October 11, 2009

Two Minnesota Men Accused of Distributing Counterfeit Drugs

Two Minnesota men, Nicholas Lundsten, 26, of Spring Lake Park, and Patrick Barron, 29, of Fridley were charged Wednesday for distributing misbranded medication. The pair sent 10,419 pills labeled as Viagra; 3,600 pills labeled as Cialis; 1,582 pills labeled as Propecia; and 340 pills labeled as Levitra.

Viagra is manufactured by Pfizer; Cialis by Eli Lilly; and Levitra by Bayer; all treat erectile dysfunction. Propecia, manufactured by Merck, treats male pattern hair loss.

Lundsten and Barron are also accused of illegally importing about 40,000 pills of alprazolam — used to control anxiety disorders — and about 27,000 pills of sibutramine — an appetite suppressant used to treat obesity — into the United States. Both are classified as "Schedule IV" controlled substances.

The indictments are the result of an investigation by the FDA, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, with assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

If convicted, Lundsten and Barron face up to six years in prison.

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