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Utah pharmacy CEO charged with illegally importing hydroxychloroquine

File - Hydroxychloroquine pills.
Posted at 8:55 PM, Jan 11, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah man is being charged in federal court for allegedly importing massive amounts of hydroxychloroquine.

Daniel Kevin Richards, who The Salt Lake Tribune reports is the CEO of Meds In Motion, a Draper-based pharmacy, was charged Monday with one misdemeanor count of "Receipt of Misbranded Drugs in Interstate Commerce and Proffered Delivery Thereof for Pay or Otherwise."

Court documents state that Richards received 50 kilograms of chloroquine and more than 500 kilograms of hydroxychloroquine in a shipment from China. The shipment was labeled as “Boswellia Serrata Extract," according to the federal charge filed in the U.S. District Court.

Boswellia Serrata Extract is grown in India, Northern Africa and the Middle East and is used as folk medicine to treat chronic inflammatory disease, according to the National Institutes of Health.

In addition to the import being mislabeled, the charges also state that the drugs were "manufactured, prepared, propagated, compounded, and processed in an establishment not duly registered as a drug manufacturer with Food and Drug Administration." They also state that the drugs "failed to bear adequate directions for use."

Richards secured a no-bid state contract for $800,000 of hydroxychloroquine in April, but it was refunded after questions and concerns about the supposed coronavirus treatment arose.

The charges filed Monday allege that Richards illegally received the drugs on April 8.

FOX 13 is a content-sharing partner with The Salt Lake Tribune.