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Men indicted on charges involving mislabeled drugs

Posted On Wed, October 14, 2009

As the nation continues to debate about health insurance reform and the cost of prescription drugs, consumers should make sure they get their drugs from reputable sources.

Recently, the United States Department of Justice's Minnesota Division reported that two men from the state have been indicted on charges of importing non-narcotic controlled substances and introducing mislabeled drugs. Nicholas David Lundsten, 26, of Spring Lake Park, and Patrick James Barron, 29, of Fridley, each face the charges.

The two men allegedly took medications that contained the same active ingredients as name-brand drugs but weren't actually produced by the companies associated with those brands. More than 15,000 misbranded pills were allegedly handled by the two men and included drugs labeled to be sold as Cialis, Propetia, Viagra and Levitra.

They also face a charge that involves importing drugs which were claimed to be the sedative Xanax and drugs that were labeled as the weight-loss drug Phentermine.

If convicted of both counts, the pair could face up to six years in prison. A number of federal agencies were involved during the investigation of the case.

According to a recent report from the Florida Sun-Sentinel, a version of health insurance reform passed by the Senate Finance Committee would cut brand-name prescription drug costs through Medicare Part D by half. The newspaper reports that a similar plan in the house would do the same, however, it would also expand coverage over 15 years.

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