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J&J sues distributors, pharmacy to block sales of counterfeit HIV drugs
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has sued drug distributors and a pharmacy seeking to stop the sale of counterfeit versions of its HIV drugs, and at least $25 million in damages from each defendant.
Patients complaining about receiving the wrong pills in their prescription bottles led J&J to discover widespread counterfeiting, as did the voluntary return of hundreds of bottles of counterfeit pharmaceuticals from one of the defendants, distributor ProPharma Distribution LLC.
Following Gilead Sciences Inc.'s lawsuit in January, the firm said it became aware of the sale of counterfeit versions of its HIV medications. Symtuza, a multi-drug combination treatment, as well as Prezcobix, Prezista, and Edurant, are among the medications at issue.
J&J claims that counterfeit bottles occasionally included a different HIV medicine than what was advertised on the label and that one counterfeit bottle contained the strong antipsychotic Seroquel.
The defendants include ProPharma, Safe Chain Solutions LLC, and Scripts Wholesale Inc, as well as drugstore operator I Care Pharmacy 14 and the business' individual proprietors.
According to the lawsuit, I Care Pharmacy had a physical location in New York City that was closed down immediately after a fraudulent transaction was found.
J&J believes the pharmacy is linked to a criminal counterfeiting network that is still operational in New York City, dispensing hazardous counterfeit HIV medication.