Norfolk Man Sentenced for Illegally Distributing Insulin
ABINGDON, VIRGINIA – A Norfolk, Virginia man, who sold insulin on Craigslist to an undercover FDA agent, was sentenced today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon, United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. announced.
Patrick Simanjuntak, 41, of Norfolk, Virginia, previously pled guilty to one count of misbranding a drug and selling a drug outside of a legitimate supply chain. Today in District Court, Simanjuntak was sentenced to five years of probation. The defendant, who is an Indonesia native in the United States on an expired 1998 visa, has 30 days to leave the U.S. and is not permitted to return to the country until after he has successfully completely his sentence.
“The public must be sure the drugs they consume are safe, have been properly inspected and are only being used under the care of a licensed physician,” United States Attorney Fishwick said today. “When individuals like Mr. Simanjuntak put lives at risk by selling prescription drugs on the black market, without a prescription or the umbrella of Food and Drug Administration [FDA] oversight, we will hold them accountable.”
“FDA’s oversight of prescription drugs is intended to ensure that consumers are taking prescription drugs that are both safe and effective, and only under a practitioner’s supervision. When criminals attempt to market stolen prescription drugs directly to consumers, they put the public’s health at risk,” said Special Agent in Charge Mark A. McCormack, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations’ Metro Washington Field Office. “Our office will continue to protect consumers by bringing to justice any criminal who sells potentially harmful prescription drugs.”
In November 2015, the FDA learned that a person, later identified as the defendant, was advertising the sale of insulin on multiple Craigslist sites in the mid-Atlantic region. In these advertisements, Simanjuntak claimed the insulin had been obtained from medical facilities, specifically nursing homes.
On November 16, 2015, an undercover FDA agent contacted Simanjuntak at the telephone provided in the ads. Subsequent to this contact, the agent made five separate purchases of pre-filled insulin injection pens from the defendant. Cumulatively, between November 2015 and February 2016, FDA’s undercover agent purchased 17 boxes of pre-filled insulin pens, each box containing five pens, for which the agent paid a total of $1,870 to the defendant through Paypal. At no time during these transactions did Simanjuntak ask for, or require, the special agent to provide a valid prescription for the insulin. On two occasions, the agent received boxes of insulin from the defendant which still had affixed to them prescription labels for other patients. Simanjuntak is neither a licensed medical professional nor licensed to distribute prescription medication.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney Randy Ramseyer prosecuted the case for the United States.