The Associated Press
March 31, 2006
WASHINGTON -- A federal court has ordered a New York company to stop importing prescription drugs and forfeit $4,000 in profits, government health officials said Friday.
The consent decree prohibits Canada Care Drugs Inc., along with Claire Ruggiero and her daughter-in-law, Christine Ruggiero, from importing drugs or advertising, promoting or receiving commissions from the importation of drugs, the Food and Drug Administration said.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York entered the decree March 9. It was disclosed by the FDA Friday.
No telephone listing for the Goshen, N.Y., company or either Ruggiero could be found.
The government filed a lawsuit against the defendants in November 2004, following an FDA investigation. The FDA plans additional inspections to ensure the defendants obey the law.
The lawsuit alleged that the women earned a 10 percent commission by illegally importing the drugs, beginning in November 2003, from Canadian pharmacies that do not manufacture the products and are not required to follow necessary storage and delivery safeguards.
The government said in court papers that the Ruggieros were "well aware" that importing prescription drugs from Canadian pharmacies violates the law and threatens public health.
The FDA said illegally imported drugs can pose a public health risk because patients cannot be sure of the quality, safety and effectiveness of the medicines.
The government said the FDA and the Justice Department had warned the defendants of the violations but the women declined to shut down their business.
"The FDA said illegally imported drugs can pose a public health risk because patients cannot be sure of the quality, safety and effectiveness of the medicines."
Hang on - weren't these drugs being imported from Canada? So Canadian pharmacies aren't stringent about the quality of the drugs they supply? Don't Canadians get really, really pissed about insults like this?
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