Food & Drug Law

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Tel: 512.499.3679 Still Has Manitoba Pharmacy License

As seen in CBC News.

The online pharmacy at the centre of an extradition case to the United States is still licensed to operate in the province by the College of Pharmacists of Manitoba, which says it’s watching the court proceedings “carefully.”

Six Canadian men arrested under the Extradition Act and released on bail last week are awaiting extradition hearing dates, which have not yet been set. If convicted, Winnipeggers Kristjan Thorkelson, Thomas Haughton, Ronald Sigurdson, Darren Chalus and Troy Nakamura, and B.C. resident James Trueman could face up to 20 years in prison and fines.

U.S. federal prosecutors accuse them, as well as Winnipeg-based company, and affiliated companies in the United Kingdom and Barbados of illegally importing and selling $78 million worth of unapproved new drugs, misbranded drugs and counterfeit drugs to American doctors between 2009 and 2012.

The extradition arrests are a big step forward in this case, according to a former U.S. prosecutor for the Department of Justice.

“It’s important that the Canadian authorities have taken this seriously,” Samuel Louis told CBC News in an interview from Houston. “It’s important for the Department of Justice,  FDA and other law enforcement officials who are involved in protecting our drug supply chain to be able to use whatever means possible particularly the extradition process to be able to hold those individuals accountable.”

Louis is the former deputy criminal chief of the Program Fraud group for the U.S. Department of Justice in the Southern District of Texas.

He supervised a task force made up of federal agents from the FDA, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and United States Postal Inspection Service that prosecuted people involved in trafficking counterfeit, unapproved and adulterated medicines.

“It sends a strong message that the U.S. is vigilant and that it will be successful and can bring those to justice who will use the internet or use facilities outside the U.S. to traffic in counterfeit drugs that will hurt the American public,” said Louis, now a lawyer and member of The Partnership for Safe Medicines.

To read the full article, click here.