DEA MOVES TO HALT INTERNET PILL FRAUD

NOVEMBER 01, 2006

The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is moving to close down what federal officials are calling a "generic pill fraud scheme" involving the sale of bogus Canadian generic drugs over the Internet. Those charges were leveled at the operators of Norcross, Ga-based Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, an outfit that the DEA says produced a number of prescription and controlled substances under unsafe conditions in the Caribbean, then marketed on the Internet as low-cost generic drugs from Canada.

Hi-Tech allegedly produced ~24 different knockoff medicines that were marketed through spam advertisements on the Internet as authentic generic versions of those drugs being imported from Canada. According to the DEA, the drugs included steroids such as oxymetholone and stanozolol, along with unapproved versions of controlled drugs such as Ambien (zolpidem tartrate),Valium (diazepam), and Xanax (alprazolam). The defendants also manufactured versions of prescription drugs such as Viagra (sildenafil citrate), Cialis (tadalafil), Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium), and Vioxx (rofecoxib).

Between 2002 and 2004, the company allegedly ordered enough active ingredients to manufacture millions of pills, many of which were then shipped into the United States to various wholesalers, as well as to individuals who purchased the drugs after receiving Internet spam.




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