YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A Wayne-based overstock distributor of medical devices, pharmaceuticals and other items was sentenced today to three years of probation and ordered to pay a $100,000 fine and $73,000 in restitution for importing and selling counterfeit and contaminated surgical hernia mesh.
Last December, the founder and president of RAM Medical, Inc. Richard A. Mazon, admitted that the company “introduced adulterated and misbranded medical devices,” the two formal charges the firm pleaded guilty to in federal court in Newark.
The company buys overstocked and discounted products from wholesalers and suppliers all over the world and resells them to distributors and end-users in the U.S. the government said.
Four years ago, RAM Medical purchased 420 boxes of surgical hernia mesh from Alpa Vision F.Z.E. in the United Arab Emirates, which had received it from M/S Medserve in Delhi, India, a federal complaint on file in U.S. District Court in Newark says. RAM also bought another 100 boxes directly from Medserve in September 2009, it says.
Mazon admitted that the mesh, which was ostensibly manufactured by Davol Inc., a subsidiary of C.R. Bard, was periodically sold and distributed to seven RAM Medical customers. He also admitted that several boxes sold between December 2008 and June 2009 included adulterated mesh that contained numerous microorganisms.
“RAM Medical also acknowledged that boxes the company distributed between October 2008 and January 2010 contained misbranded, counterfeit mesh,” the government said in an official release.
As a condition of probation, “it will undertake responsibility for the locating and destruction of all the counterfeit Davol Inc. mesh it imported,” U.S. Attorney Paul S. Fishman said.
Fishman credited special agents of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Office of Criminal Investigations for making the case, which was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott B. McBride of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Healthcare and Government Fraud Unit.
CLICK HERE for the FDA’s warning about the counterfeit surgical mesh
Fishman said the warning is “of particular significance to health care professionals and their patients with surgical mesh implants as well as hospitals and surgical centers, operating room medical professionals and staff, and purchasing and risk managers.”