NZ doc faces 30 years after fake Cialis conviction

A major supplier of counterfeit erectile dysfunction drugs from China into the U.S. who eluded federal authorities for 5 years has been convicted and now faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $6 million. Robin Han, 43, a New Zealand doctor who operated out of China, was indicted in 2007 but not captured until March 29 after arriving in San Francisco from Hong Kong, according to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) release. "The challenge in intellectual property investigations is that large-scale suppliers like Han are typically based overseas," says Claude Arnold, special agent in charge for homeland security investigations in Los Angeles. "But as this case clearly demonstrates, these defendants are not beyond the reach of U.S. law enforcement." ICE says federal authorities started investigating Han in 2006 when agents got hold of a parcel containing fake versions of Eli Lilly's ($LLY) Cialis, disguised in phony Cialis packaging. They say Han advertised his products on a number of websites and is believed to have been a major supplier to distributors in California, Texas and Europe. Undercover agents bought from Han 20,000 tablets of counterfeit drugs with an estimated street value of $200,000. In addition to fake Cialis, Han sold them counterfeits of Pfizer's ($PFE) Viagra and Levitra, which is made by Bayer and marketed by it and GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK). While international websites often sell counterfeits of sex drugs like Viagra, they recently were the source of counterfeit versions of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries' ($TEVA) Adderall, used for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Release | More

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