Chris Rizo Apr. 14, 2008, 8:00pm
SALEM (Legal Newsline)-Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers announced Monday that an out-of-state pharmacy agreed to fines and penalties over several deaths allegedly linked to their unlicensed product.
Myers reached the settlement with ApotheCure, Inc., a pharmaceutical company in Texas, which was accused of selling mislabeled prescription drugs in Oregon that resulted in the poisoning deaths of two patients in Oregon and one in Washington State.
The company is accused of shipping 31 vials of Colchicine to Oregon that were eight times the strength indicated.
The individuals used the unregulated pain medication Colchicine, which is not approved for treating back-pain.
Colchicine is, however, approved by the FDA to treat, among other conditions, gout and familial Mediterranean fever.
Oregon consumers who purchased Colchicine from ApotheCure in the last four years will receive a letter from the company in the next 30 days explaining the court order and how to apply for restitution, the attorney general's office said.
Named in the stipulated general judgment filed Monday in Marion County Circuit Court were ApotheCure, Inc. and its owner Gary Osborn of Dallas, Texas. The settlement was not an admission of wrongdoing.
As a part of the settlement, ApotheCure will have to pay $17,962 in restitution to people who used the bad batches.
Additionally, ApotheCure will have to pay the state $100,000. The company is also barred from doing business in Oregon until it pays a $500,000 civil penalty.
"Not only is the company currently out-of-business in our state but if it ever wants to return, it not only must comply with our state's licensing requirements, but it must strictly follow the detailed operating procedures spelled out in the judgment," Myers said in a statement.
From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.