ALEXANDRIA, VA: The U.S. Department of Justice has fined two Canadian sellers a total of US$95 million for a multi-year conspiracy to smuggle and distribute misbranded prescription pharmaceuticals into the U.S.
SB Medical Inc. and TC Medical Group based in Toronto, Canada and St. Michael, Barbados, were fined US$45 million and required to forfeit another US$30 million for smuggling orthopedic injections, rheumatology infusions, cosmetic devices, optomology products and oncology drugs using break-bulk and drop shipping.
Between 2011 and 2014, the two companies received over $33 million from selling misbranded prescription pharmaceuticals to U.S. doctors and clinics. In May this year they pleaded guilty to sourcing non-FDA approved drugs including Lucentis, Mabthera, Botox, Dysport, Euflexxa, Remicade, Restylane, Synvisc, Prolia, Orencia, Orthovisc from India, Turkey, France and Italy.
To smuggle the drugs across the U.S. border from Canada, large shipments were broken down into multiple small consignments and then sent via the U.S. Postal Service to drop shipper addresses in Maryland, New Jersey and Florida under different false names over several days with false Customs declarations.
On arrival the shippers stored the drugs in the basements of their homes and after removing all the original labeling, re-shipped the products to doctors and clinics throughout the country with a U.S-based return address.