Pakistani man charged with bringing counterfeit drugs into U.S.

Ever wonder where the websites selling unapproved and sometimes counterfeit drugs get those products? According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), many of them came from a Pakistani man and his company, JNS Impex.

Junaid Qadir, 33, of Karachi, Pakistan, faces 8 federal charges, some for allegedly sending counterfeit drugs and controlled substances into the U.S. Drugs that he is said to have sold to online pharmacies. The drugs Qadir and his company shipped included counterfeit or unapproved versions of Viagra, lorazepam, alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem, and phentermine, according to a statement from DOJ and the FDA.

Qadir had been indicted by a federal grand jury back in 2012 but was at bay until last year when he was arrested in Germany and held until he was extradited to U.S. He appeared last week in federal court on Colorado. He is being held without bail.

An indictment says that Qadir sold the drugs to online pharmacies and then shipped products into the U.S. often concealed in plastic vitamin bottles and plastic water bottles. He had buyers use money transfers to pay for them. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

"This arrest is evidence that no matter where you are, be it in the United States or abroad, if you use the U.S. Mail to endanger the American public, we will find you," Craig Goldberg, an agent with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, said in a statement.

The FDA and other federal agencies have shut down a host of companies that have imported into the U.S., counterfeit or often misbranded drugs, products made for use in the other countries but not approved in the U.S. Last fall, William Scully, one of two owners of Medical Device King based in New York, was convicted on charges that he sold more than $17 million worth of fake or unapproved drugs that were manufactured overseas. Last year, the FDA said that a counterfeit of Roche's cancer drug Altuzan had been shipped to some providers from Medical Device King. Altuzan is the trade name used in Turkey for Roche's Avastin.

- here's the DOJ release

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