New York man convicted of selling counterfeit and illegal drugs in U.S.

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.

Scully, of Commack, NY, and company co-owner, Shahrad Rodi Lameh, of Manhasset, NY, were indicted on 73 counts in federal court earlier this year. Lameh reached a plea bargain agreement with prosecutors in exchange for his testimony during the 6-week trial, according to the advocacy group, The Partnership for Safe Medicines. Scully, who awaits sentencing, was found guilty of 66 charges and faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.

The two men ran Pharmalogical, which sold drugs through the name "Medical Device King." The drugs the company imported illegally included the cancer drugs Avastin, Aloxi, Aredia and Rituxan, as well as Roche's ($RHHBY) Remicade. The countries they were imported from included Scotland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the Cayman Islands, Canada, The United Arab Emirates and Finland.

"Unlicensed distributors like Medical Device King, domestic or foreign, prey on the greed of unscrupulous persons in the supply chain and vulnerabilities in the system and put the public health at great risk," Dr. Marv Shepherd, president of The Partnership for Safe Medicines, said in a statement.

In February, 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. Lab tests found the shipped products contained no active ingredient. The agency said that even if the Altuzan (bevacizumab) were not counterfeit, only Roche's Avastin is approved by the FDA for sale in the U.S. The agency said that no patients received the fake drug.

The regulatory agency and the Department of Justice have several running cases against companies like Medical Device King that import unapproved drugs. They have also gotten convictions for some doctors who knowingly bought the products to get the deep discounts under which they were sold.

- see the Partnership for Safe Medicines statement