Canadian company charged in the U.S. with selling unapproved, counterfeit drugs

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The Associated Press

HELENA, Mont.: U.S. government prosecutors are accusing an online Canadian pharmacy of selling $78 million worth of unapproved, mislabelled and counterfeit drugs to doctors across the United States.

An indictment charges Canada Drugs and its affiliates in the United Kingdom and Barbados with smuggling, money laundering and conspiracy.

The Winnipeg company’s website describes itself as offering low prices on medicine from Canada, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand.

A company spokesman and attorney did not return calls Monday.

Prosecutors say Canada Drugs began selling drugs that were mislabelled or unapproved by the Food and Drug Administration to U.S. physicians in 2009.

Most are used to treat cancer and the effects of chemotherapy.

Prosecutors say sales went on until 2012, when the FDA began investigating the company’s involvement in distributing counterfeit versions of the cancer drug Avastin.

Health Canada suspended the company’s establishment licence in June, 2014 over what it called “significant concerns” about its manufacturing practices.

_ With files from The Canadian Press.