Canadian pharmacy fined $34 million for importing counterfeit drugs into U.S.

Canadian pharmacy fined $34 million for importing counterfeit drugs into U.S.

Federal prosecutors have fined a Canadian online pharmacy $34 million for importing counterfeit drugs and unapproved pharmaceuticals into the U.S., ABC News reported.

The pharmacy, Canada Drugs, branded itself as a safe alternative for patients in need of drugs that sell for high prices in the U.S.

U.S. prosecutors said the company’s business model is based on selling illegally imported misbranded and unapproved drugs from all over the world, according to ABC News.

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The company has reportedly made $78 million through such imports. Prosecutors noted that it imported counterfeit versions of two cancer drugs that didn’t have an active ingredient.

A Montana judge approved federal prosecutors' recommendation for a sentence that included fines totaling $34 million after two years of difficulties to get Canada Drugs to appear in court in the U.S.

The company’s founder, Kris Thorkelson, was also fined $250,000 and sentenced to six months house arrest with five years’ probation, ABC News reported.

Some advocacy groups have said that the fines are only a slap on the wrist and the company deserves much harsher penalties.