A Miami man, Armando Herrera, has pleaded guilty in federal court to distributing adulterated HIV drugs worth up to $25 million to unsuspecting patients across the United States. Herrera and his co-conspirators set up companies in Texas, California, and Washington, which acquired large quantities of misbranded and adulterated medication from legal sources. They falsified the packaging of drugs like Truvada and Biktarvy and sold them at a discounted price to wholesalers, who later sold them to pharmacies. Prosecutors revealed that the pharmacies were unaware that the drugs had been altered or misbranded. Herrera is scheduled to be sentenced on December 21.
Herrera faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for his crime. The medications distributed, such as Truvada and Biktarvy, are used to prevent and treat HIV infection. Truvada is prescribed to individuals who are at risk of contracting the virus, while Biktarvy is used to treat existing infections. Both medications are manufactured by Gilead Sciences. Herrera and his co-conspirators received payments ranging from $16.7 million to $25 million from two wholesalers, but the court filings did not disclose how they acquired the drugs.
This case highlights the serious issue of illegal distribution and sale of adulterated medication. The defendants not only deceived patients but also implicated wholesalers in the criminal scheme. It is concerning that pharmacies unknowingly dispensed these misbranded drugs to unsuspecting individuals. This case showcases the need for stringent regulations and monitoring to prevent such fraudulent practices, ensuring the safety of patients relying on these crucial medications. Herrera’s sentencing on December 21 will determine the consequences he will face for his involvement in this illegal operation.