Friday, September 24, 2010

Man Charged with Selling Fake Drugs in Wisconsin Faced Illegal-Drug Charges in Texas

Balbir Bhogal a man now facing Federal charges for peddling fake Viagra had been arrested and charged in 2002 for running a bogus pharmacy in Texas and possessing multiple illegal drugs.

Dan Simmons in the Wednesday, September 15th edition of the Wisconsin State Journal reports on a story previously posted in Secure Pharma Chain.

Along with prominent Madison pharmacist and businesswoman Marla Ahlgrimm, who owns Women's Health America and serves on the UW Foundation board, Mr. Bhogal was jailed on federal charges that the pair had sold millions of doses of fake Viagra and other drugs, and conspired to illegally sell painkillers.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal article:

• The Middleton man charged recently with peddling fake Viagra had earlier been arrested and charged in 2002 for running a sham pharmacy in Texas and possessing multiple illegal drugs, according to court records.

• "He was certainly a predator type," said Andrew Walters, police chief of Oakridge North, Texas, where Balbir Bhogal was charged in October 2002.

• A complaint filed last month in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn alleges renowned Madison pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm, 55, and Bhogal, 63, imported and sold millions of doses of fake Viagra and other counterfeit drugs and conspired to illegally sell stimulants and tranquilizers.

• In the 2002 case, Bhogal was charged with five felony counts of possessing illegal drugs after an undercover police raid allegedly found cocaine, crack, marijuana and a rave drug known as Special K, among other illegal substances including a Fed Ex package containing phentolamine mesylate, used for erectile dysfunction in men, at his storefront herbal supplement store in Oakridge North, about 30 miles north of Houston.

• "It is speculated that Bhogal was making his own ‘viagra' pills," a detective wrote as part of the incident report. But Bhogal was not specifically charged for it then, Walters said.

• At the time, he was identified as an assistant professor at the Baylor College of Medicine and a package addressed to him bore the address of the Veteran's Affairs hospital in Houston, according to the court records. Representatives at both institutions declined comment Wednesday.

• He was sentenced to probation on the charges in April 2004 before the charges were dropped for unknown reasons in 2006, according to Walters and court records.

• It's not clear how Ahlgrimm came into contact with Bhogal, a consultant at her business, Women's Health America of Madison. In court records he's also described as a "registered agent" at Nutragen, L.L.C., a Madison pharmaceutical company.

• According to the recent complaint, a confidential source told the FBI about buying millions of tablets of prescription drugs from Ahlgrimm and Bhogal. Another informant reported ordering prescription painkillers and erectile dysfunction medication that, when intercepted by authorities, were found to be fake or ineffective.

When trusted professional health care providers and prominent pharmaceutical supply chain members become actively involved in the criminal and deadly act of drug counterfeiting, it is vital that the members of the supply chain protect their businesses and consumers from bogus medications.

This is no longer a crime that occurs and impacts the populations of underdeveloped nations.

Verifying and securing inventories is now a vital and necessary process.

To read the entire Wisconsin State Journal article, visit:

To learn more about pharmaceutical anti-counterfeiting technology, visit:

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