The former compliance director of an Indiana compounding pharmacy pleaded guilty Wednesday to fraud and misdemeanor for introducing adulterated drugs to the market.
Sixty-three year old Caprice R. Bearden pleaded guilty to introducing adulterated drugs into interstate commerce and conspiracy to defraud the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Wednesday.
Bearden, who served as the Director of Compliance for Pharmakon Pharmaceuticals Inc. admitted guilt to one count of fraudulent conspiracy, three misdemeanor counts of introducing an adulterated drug to interstate commerce, and six misdemeanor counts of adulterating drugs while they were being held for sale.
“This defendant distributed serious drugs to hospitals in Indiana and around the country, knowing that the drugs were significantly under or over the strength they were supposed to be,” said Southern District of Indiana U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler. “She put greed and the reputation of her company ahead of the health and safety of our most vulnerable patient populations.”
“Distributing out-of-specification drug products poses a serious risk of harm to patients. The Justice Department will not tolerate efforts to impede FDA’s ability to uncover these types of safety concerns,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler.
“This is an egregious example of how harmful conduct can result in risk to patients. The disregard for the law resulted in the injury of infants from poorly compounded, super potent morphine products,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb also said according to the DOJ’s press release.
The conspiracy charge to which Bearden admitted guilt carries a five-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine. Chief U.S. District Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson accepted Bearden’s plea and has not set a date for her trial.
The announcement of Bearden’s fraudulent conspiracy comes after a former tax services preparer for the United States also pleaded guilty and was charged numerous counts of fraud and evasion in court on Wednesday. This resulted in a net loss of $550,001 to the American taxpayers and the Internal Revenue Service, according to a statement released by the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of Indiana.
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