The online pharmacy, CanadaDrugCenter.com, which had been verified by PharmacyChecker, is no longer accessible over the Internet. At the end of June, the managers of the online pharmacy—and others owned by them, CanadaDrugPharmacy.com and CanadaDrugStop.com—informed PharmacyChecker that they were withdrawing from the PharmacyChecker Verification Program because they were going offline, but they did not tell us why.
We still don’t know why, either, but I suspect it has to do with the U.S. government’s case against its owners dating back to 2007-2011.
The online pharmacies at issue were owned by a company called Quantum Solutions. That company and its owners were indicted by the U.S. Attorney in Western Pennsylvania last March for selling medicines to U.S. pharmacists who then re-packaged the medicines for re-sale. The medicines at issue were not counterfeit or adulterated, but they were identified as illegally imported and misbranded. Wholesale imports that run afoul of FDA regulations do not receive the same treatment as personal imports, which are prescription orders directly to patients, even if the medicines are lawfully-manufactured, and safe and effective.
LegitScript, a company that allies with the pharmaceutical industry through its founding of Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacy, used this case to try and discredit PharmacyChecker. Here was the response from PharmacyChecker CEO Dr. Tod Cooperman, last year, which also explains various nuances of this case.
That indictment against Quantum Solutions sought monetary forfeiture from the owners. There was an annex to the indictment that listed many pharmacy websites owned by Quantum. I believe that as part of a guilty plea to settle with the U.S. Government, the owners agreed to forfeit their websites, even though the activities of the online pharmacies were not a part of the indictment in any manner.
We have heard from some of their customers that they have called CanadaDrugCenter’s toll free number and were informed that their prescriptions could still be filled. Please note that this online pharmacy is no longer being monitored by PharmacyChecker. The online pharmacies closing like this is not typical. Customers should have been notified. We cannot recommend that patients continue to fill orders through this company.
As this situation seems to run parallel to CanadaDrugs.com shutting down, Americans patients are probably concerned that the government is trying to prevent them from importing lower-cost medicines from Canada and other countries. They have a right to be concerned! However, the situations with CanadaDrugs.com and CanadaDrugCenter.com are the results of their engaging in commercial quantity prescription drug importation, mostly between 2007-2011. We know of no other such indictments, but, as I’ve written before, the FDA will take criminal enforcement action against wholesale, even small commercial quantities, drug imports that flout Federal law, even if medicines involved are perfect. Our program bans pharmacies that sell commercial quantities of misbranded medicines by export into the U.S., in violation of federal law.
There are still many PharmacyChecker-verified international online pharmacies to choose from where patients can find lower cost, safe and effective medicines.
If you want to speak up about the importance to you of buying medicines from pharmacies in Canada or other countries and how PharmacyChecker has helped you get the information you need to afford prescription drugs safely, please tell us your story.Tagged with: canadadrugcenter, canadadrugs, Enforcement