September 6, 2005-- Posted at 3:05 PM CDT
Two drug wholesalers, a repacking business and 11 individuals have been charged with peddling counterfeit Lipitor, the popular cholesterol reducing drug, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.
The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri handed down a 57-count indictment in a case that allegedly involved manufacture of the drug at a secret plant in Central America, the agency said in a prepared statement. In 2003, Kansas City, Mo., wholesaler Albers Medical Distributors and Springfield, Ill.-based H.D. Smith Wholesale Drug Co. allegedly distributed $20 million in illegally imported, stolen, and counterfeit versions of Lipitor, the FDA said. The counterfeit product allegedly was repackaged by Med-Pro of Lexington, Neb.
Most of the counterfeit Lipitor is now believed out of circulation, the agency said.
The FDA said it had no reports of ill health stemming from the fake or illegally imported drugs.