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Midwest Veterinary Supply pleads guilty to selling drugs without prescriptions

Crystal Graham

department of justice logo 2023 Midwest Veterinary Supply, a Minnesota-based company that supplies prescription drugs for animals to veterinarians, farms, feedlots and other businesses, pled guilty today to introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce and agreed to pay more than $10 million in criminal fines and forfeiture.

“The Department of Justice will continue to ensure that all companies follow federal laws regarding distribution of prescription drugs,” United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh of the Western District of Virginia said today. “In this case, millions of dollars were obtained from the illegal distribution of veterinary medicine and, just like pharmaceuticals intended for human-use, my office will continue to hold accountable those companies and corporations that violate federal law.”

According to court documents, from 2011-2021, Midwest shipped prescription drugs from their non-pharmacy locations throughout the United States to end-users that were not authorized to receive prescription drugs. Shipments from non-pharmacy locations to end-users and shipments to non-authorized locations are deemed misbranded.

Midwest shipped at least $10,150,014 worth of misbranded drugs to end-users between 2011-2021.

The law violated is designed, in part, to ensure that prescription drugs are kept within a controlled chain of distribution to prevent diversion and inappropriate use.

“The FDA regulates animal drugs as part of its mission to protect the public health. Part of this responsibility includes ensuring that prescription animal drugs are lawfully distributed and dispensed pursuant to a valid prescription,” said Special Agent in Charge George A. Scavdis, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations’ Metro Washington Field Office. “We will continue to investigate and bring to justice those who attempt to evade the law.”

As part of the plea agreement, Midwest will forfeit $10,150,014 and serve between one and three years’ probation. Midwest will also pay $1 million to the Virginia Department of Health Professions and pay a $500,000 fine.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations and the Virginia State Police investigated the case, with the assistance of the Virginia Department of Health Professions. Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Ramseyer is prosecuting the case.

Midwest is scheduled to be sentenced on June 12 in United States District Court in Abingdon.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.