California cancer practice fined $3.4 million for buying foreign meds

Charges part of FDA push to stop foreign-made and counterfeit drugs
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A California oncologist and his practice have pleaded guilty and are coughing up $3.4 million for buying drugs from a source in Canada that were not approved by the FDA. According to an agency release, Dr. Joel I. Bernstein of La Jolla, CA, admitted giving his patients foreign versions of nearly a dozen different cancer meds, including a version of Roche's ($RHHBY) Rituxan manufactured for use in Turkey. The charges are part of a push by the FDA and law enforcement to stop unapproved and counterfeit drugs from getting into the U.S. Earlier this year, the FDA discovered some drugs that physicians' practices in the U.S. had bought that appeared to be foreign versions of Roche cancer drugs but which turned out to be counterfeits. Release | More