Three Canadians and their company, Quantum Solutions, SRL, have been sentenced in a pharma supply chain caper involving the sale of illegal foreign-sourced prescription drugs to three retail pharmacies in western Pennsylvania.  The individuals in this case were slapped with probation and minimal fines, while their company, Quantum, was ordered to forfeit in excess of $4 million dollars. Compounding the paltry sentences, is the existence of three pharmacists, each a retail pharmacy owner, who seem to have evaded justice.  Who are these pharmacists and are their pharmacies still in business? Moreover, are vulnerable patients continuing to fill their prescriptions at these pharmacies? We may never know.  It’s a serious problem that information about this case appears to be absent from the Pennsylvania Board of Pharmacy web site.  More transparency on these types of criminal cases is desperately needed.

To steal a line from Game of Thrones, “Winter is coming.”  State and federal regulators should be paying close attention to the growing litany of criminal supply chain schemes involving independent pharmacies.  When will the undeniable threat to patients from under-regulated and potentially corrupt independent pharmacies become a call to arms for regulators?  I’m afraid it may take another supply chain catastrophe for that to happen.  Bold FDA leadership is needed or this cycle of regulatory dysfunction in the face of urgent threats such as this will continue to plague vulnerable patients.  Where is Jon Snow when we need him?