The FDA uncovers a counterfeit business that sold foreign-made drugs as if they were approved by the FDA.
The owner of a small company in Cranston, R.I. was recently charged and convicted of falsely labeling preretail medical products, money laundering, and immigration fraud in federal court. Arif Diwan, 60, owner of Cranston, Lifescreen LLC, pled guilty to the scam, which was carried out between 2012 and 2015.
What’s interesting about this whole situation wasn’t that Diwan held illegal operations to sell foreign-made drugs, but that he bought drugs manufactured in India, faked these drugs being FDA-approved and made in the U.S., and then proceeded to sell them in other countries (rather than the U.S.).
According to the FDA:
[B]etween 2012 and 2015, Diwan received and filled numerous orders for high-cost pharmaceutical products, including a number of products used in the treatment of cancer. Diwan admitted that he rebranded and relabeled drugs manufactured in India, including adding bogus FDA codes and markings to make it appear that the drugs had been manufactured in the United States or Europe and were approved for sale by the FDA. The drugs were shipped by Diwan to customers in numerous countries. Diwan did not sell misbranded and mislabeled drugs in the United States.
Currently, Diwan is scheduled to be sentenced on September 16, 2016 by U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith.
“FDA is recognized around the globe for ensuring that drugs are safe and effective. Criminal rings that falsify drugs’ origins to give the appearance of FDA approval put the public’s health at risk,” said George M. Karavetsos, Director of FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations in the press release. “We will investigate and bring to justice those who compromise the security of the pharmaceutical supply chain wherever they may be.”
To read the press release, click here.