Fake Avastin Salesman Ducks Jail Time

Fake Avastin Salesman Ducks Jail Time

July 15th, 2013 // 3:32 pm @

 

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We saw a lot of ruckus about the fake Avastin scandal last year, but last week, federal prosecutors were not able to get a one year prison term for an ex-salesman at a pharmacy in Canada that had pleaded guilty for a felony because he sold misbranded drugs for cancer. He will not spend any time in jail, rather, Paul Bottomley will have six months’ house arrest and will also serve five years of probation.

This light sentence is a setback for the government, who wanted to make an example of the man. FDA is in the process of speeding up its efforts to slow down counterfeit medicines spreading around the world, and to better secure the supply of pharmaceuticals. The problems with Avastin involved several doctors who bought cheaper but fake cancer drugs – $1700 per vial for the fake but $2300 for the real drug, which Roche sells.

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The US Attorney on the case said that the case is about the greed of Bottomley, and  the greed of doctors who bought the cut rate drug.

The feds got interested in the Bottomley situation last year when FDA noted there was a supplier by the name of Montana Health Care Solutions. At that time, Bottomley owned that firm and sold it to Canada Drugs. He was still an advisor and was paid $10000 per month. He also was noted to be the business development manager on the contact sheets that were given out to doctor offices.

At the time, about 20 medical offices had bought the fake Avastin. He did not have any involvement in importing or sending out the fake drug, federal prosecutors stated that he knew that the drugs being sent out were unapproved and misbranded. Bottomley also was ID’d as the sales contact for several medical practices.

FDA got information from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency in the UK regarding fake Avastin….this was after a wholesaler there bought 168 packages from an EU supplier. It later sent out 42 packs to a firm called Volunteer Distribution in TN, which had a contract with the firm QSP, which is a part of Canada Drugs.

The US attorney did not say if Canada Drugs or the doctors who bought the drugs will be charged.

Bottomley ended up paying a heavy price – he had to give up $4 million in property and cash, including an Aston Martin car and 10 pieces of real estate in Montana. The property had to be given up because the feds determined that the property was bought with proceeds from the illegal sales.

Bottomley noted that he had given up everything but his house and is now in debt. He actually could have gotten three years of jail time, and a $250,000 fine, so some might say he got off easy.


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