local doctor pleads guilty to making false statement to agent
St. Louis, MO – DR. ERICK FALCONER pled guilty to 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.
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, Missouri. 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 an alert regarding “fraudulent versions of Botox found in the United States” with counterfeit exterior cartons.
Falconer, of St. Louis, Missouri, pled guilty to one felony charge of making a false statement before United States District Judge Carol E. Jackson. Sentencing has been set for February 4, 2014.
Dr. Falconer faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
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.