Oregon Department of Justice

Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum

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AG MYERS FILES JUDGMENT AGAINST APOTHECURE & OWNER

April 14, 2008

Attorney General Hardy Myers Files Stipulated General Judgment Against Apothecure, Inc. And Owner Osborn

ApotheCure is out-of-business in Oregon until all necessary licenses are obtained and a $500,000 penalty is paid.

Attorney General Hardy Myers today filed a stipulated general judgment against a Texas compounding pharmacy and its owner resolving allegations in a 2007 lawsuit that included the company illegally selling mislabeled dangerous prescription drugs in Oregon resulting in the poisoning deaths of three clients-two in Oregon and one in Washington. Named in a stipulated general judgment filed in Marion County Circuit Court are ApotheCure, Inc. and its owner Gary Osborn of Dallas, Texas.

"We're very pleased with a judgment that will protect Oregonians from further injury by ApotheCure and its owner Gary Osborn," Myers said. "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. It also cannot do business in our state until it pays a $500,000 civil penalty."

Under today's judgment, ApotheCure must pay more than $17,000 in restitution to all Oregon consumers who they unlawfully sold prescription drugs over the last four years, while not being legally licensed to do so. Those victims will receive a letter from the company in the next 30 days explaining the court order and how to apply for restitution. The drug purchasers have 90 days from today to apply for the refund.

The defendants also must pay $100,000 to the State of Oregon with $60,000 to DOJ's consumer education and protection fund and $40,000 to the Oregon Board of Pharmacy.

The 2007 lawsuit alleged that the unlicensed company unlawfully sold dangerous prescription drugs in Oregon including Colchicine, a highly toxic drug that must be used with great care to avoid injury and death. The defendants allegedly sold Colchicine to treat back pain, a use of the drug that has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and for which Colchicine is largely ineffective.

In February 2007, the defendants allegedly shipped 31 vials of mislabeled Colchicine into Oregon that was eight times more concentrated than indicated on each vial's label. At least three people died as a result of poisoning by the mislabeled product. The complaint alleges that the defendants also sold Colchicine that was less potent than indicated on the label. Today's court order permanently enjoins the defendants from selling IV colchicine in Oregon and allows DOJ to do undercover operations to ensure ApotheCure's compliance.

Consumers wanting information about this case and Oregon consumer protection in general may contact the Attorney General's consumer hotline at (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only), (503) 229-5576 (Portland area only) or toll-free at 1-877-877-9392. DOJ is online at www.doj.state.or.us.

Contact:

Jan Margosian, (503) 947-4333 (media line only) jan.margosian@doj.state.or.us |
Paige Clark, OBP, (971) 673-0483, paige.clark@state.or.us |
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