A 52-year-old man convicted of marketing drug-tainted “dietary supplements" has been sent to the slammer.
Earlier this month, a federal judge sentenced John Wesley Hoag to 50 months in federal prison for his role in selling diet pills that contained sibutramine, a schedule IV controlled substance.
Hoag of Fort Lauderdale, Florida also was ordered to serve a two-year term of supervised release following his prison sentence, pay a fine of US$7,500 and forfeit property traceable to the gross proceeds of the scheme, including roughly $679,000, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) noted in a May 5 news release. On July 29, 2015, Hoag entered a guilty plea related to an unlawful scheme to falsely label and market “all natural" dietary supplements, the DOJ said.
FDA in recent years has been targeting for criminal prosecution individuals who have marketed “dietary supplements" that are laced with drugs, such as sibutramine, the active pharmaceutical ingredient in a weight-loss drug known as Meridia that was removed from the market six years ago following studies that showed an elevated risk of heart attacks and strokes.
“Consumers are put at serious risk when they are unknowingly exposed to undeclared active pharmaceutical ingredients in products falsely labeled as natural dietary supplements," said Robert J. West, special agent-in-charge of the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations in the Miami Field Office, in a statement. “Our office will continue to defend the public’s health by ensuring that dietary supplements are accurately labeled, and do not contain dangerous undeclared active pharmaceutical ingredients."
In a related case, a federal jury on March 22 convicted 54-year-old Darlene Krueger of Destrehan, Louisiana, on three counts of distribution of sibutramine and three counts of introduction of misbranded drugs into interstate commerce. Krueger’s attorney declined to comment, noting her client hasn’t been sentenced yet.