One of the largest online pharmacies in Canada, NorthWestPharmacy.com, a large Canadian online pharmacy, has recently issued a warning to consumers about unaccredited “Canadian pharmacies.” Of particular concern are websites that purportedly offer Canada’s drugs from a Canadian pharmacy without a prescription to Americans.
The warning comes in the wake of the indictment of Ram Kamath of Downers Grove, Illinois by the U.S. Justice Dept. for allegedly participating in a conspiracy to distribute $78 million worth of non-FDA approved counterfeit cancer medications through CanadaDrugs.com. The indictment was filed in US district court in Montana charging CanadaDrugs and its affiliates in the United Kingdom and Barbados with smuggling, money laundering and conspiracy.
CanadaDrugs’ affiliates bought their non-FDA authorized or mislabeled drugs abroad and shipped them to the United States to sell to physicians at lower prices compared with the U.S. equivalents, according to the indictment. The money would go to the company’s Barbados affiliate, which would then send the profits to Canada, the indictment said.
The FDA began investigating CanadaDrugs.com’s distribution of counterfeit versions of the cancer drug Avastin in 2012. Narinder Kaulder is alleged to have helped supply fake Avastin and is believed to be the head of operations for a U.K. drug wholesaler called River East Supplies, LTD. According to the indictment, River East was a subsidiary through which CanadaDrugs conducted its “clinical sales.”