February 21, 2014: Local Doctor Sentenced for Making False Statement to Agent
Food and Drug Administration
Office of Criminal Investigations
U.S. Department of Justice Press Release
For Immediate Release
February 21, 2014
United States Attorney
Eastern District of Missouri
St. Louis, MO - Dr. Erick Falconer was sentenced to five months in prison, followed by five months of home confinement on charges of making a false statement to federal agents regarding his purchases of misbranded Botox® from a foreign unlicensed drug wholesaler, some of which had counterfeit exterior packaging. Additionally, as part of his plea agreement, Dr. Falconer previously forfeited $20,000 to the Government.
According to court documents, during the summer of 2009, Dr. Falconer received a facsimile transmission from an unlicensed drug wholesaler that offered low prices for assorted prescription drugs, including "Botox (Turkish)" for $354.99 a vial, listing a 1-800 telephone number and an individual's "g-mail" address for contact purposes. The facsimile was sent to his medical practice, The Youthful Body, Inc., in Florissant, MO. During this same time frame, the FDA-approved version of Botox® was sold through licensed drug wholesales at higher prices in the United States, typically $525 a vial. From August 2009 through February 2013, Dr. Falconer and his corporation made over fifty separate purchases of these counterfeit drugs which he provided to his patients without informing them of the source of the drugs. During an interview in February 2013 with special agents of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA"), Dr. Falconer told the agents he had only made three purchases of the illegal drugs from this unlicensed foreign wholesaler. On April 26, 2013, FDA issued a public safety alert regarding "fraudulent versions of Botox found in the United States" with counterfeit exterior cartons.
Falconer, 41, of St. Louis, Missouri, pled guilty last November to one felony charge of making a false statement, and appeared today for sentencing before United States District Judge Carol E. Jackson.
"Healthcare professionals who buy medicines outside of the supply chain that FDA oversees jeopardize their patients' safety," said Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Holland of FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations, Kansas City Field Office. "FDA will not hesitate to bring to justice all those who put the public's health at risk by violating federal law."
This case was investigated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, with assistance from the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.