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California Pharmacist Accused of Pushing Counterfeit Medications

State Officials Suspend Pharmacist for Incident Involving Bogus Cialis

PharmacistA California pharmacist has lost some of her privileges after allegations that she tried to return counterfeit drugs to a drug manufacturer. The pharmacist, who owns two stores in the Glendale, California, area, has been prohibited from acting as pharmacist in charge of her stores, but may continue to fill customer prescriptions.

According to sources, the pharmacist in question had returned 30 tablets of Cialis to Eli-Lilly for a refund. Eli-Lilly tested the returned drugs and found that they were counterfeit. When investigators came to her pharmacy, they were unable to locate approximately 150 tablets of Cialis that were supposed to be on the premises. Investigators say the pharmacist tried to mislead them with a number of false statements, and that their search found a wide range of irregularities, including trash bags and boxes full of empty manufacturer medication bottles.

Authorities say that the presence of counterfeit prescription drugs is a growing problem in the United States and around the globe, netting manufacturers more than $75 billion. A federal grand jury in California indicted nine people in the Oakland area for making bogus prescription drugs, including a counterfeit version of Xanax. Most bogus drugs, though, are manufactured overseas, with the bulk made in China and India.

It’s more likely to occur at small, individually owned drugstores, where pharmacists can get bogus pharmaceutical products and sell them at a substantial markup. Officials acknowledge that the smaller pharmacies don’t have the same control mechanisms that the large chains have.

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