Internet pharmacy pioneer loses licence
The Manitoba man who launched the internet pharmacy industry in North America is no longer able to work as a pharmacist in his home province.
Andrew Strempler has agreed to take his name off the provincial pharmacist registry following disciplinary hearings last year, according to the Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association (MPA), which just posted the outcome of the hearings on its website.
Strempler created the Mediplan Pharmacy in Minnedosa in 1999 and sold it in 2007 to the CanadaDrugs.com Group of Companies.
The MPA alleges his company sold drugs from overseas locations that weren't approved by Health Canada, yet the medications were labelled as if they had been made in Canada.
Many of the drugs were also found to be counterfeit versions of brand-name prescriptions.
Investigation launched after FDA warning
An investigation was launched in 2006 after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advised consumers against purchasing several prescription drugs from Mediplan.
At that time, Strempler called the FDA warning the latest tactic designed to prevent uninsured Americans from getting their drugs from outside the U.S.
He also said his company — known as RxNorth — regularly tested the drugs and declared them safe and reliable.
But the FDA cited a 2005 seizure of drugs being shipped by Mediplan. The agency claimed 85 per cent of the drugs promoted as Canadian actually came from 27 other countries.
The Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association charged Strempler with professional misconduct in early 2009 and then conducted disciplinary hearings in March and October.
Strempler, who helped establish the Canadian International Pharmacy Association in 2002 and the Manitoba Internet Pharmacists Association in 2003, agreed in October to have his name struck from the MPA registry.
That means he can never renew his pharmacist's licence in Manitoba.
He also agreed to pay $7,500 to cover the cost of the investigation.
In return, the MPA stayed the charges against him.
Feb. 24, 2010
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