A Miami man named Armando Herrera has pleaded guilty to distributing adulterated HIV drugs that were dispensed to unsuspecting patients across the United States. The drugs, worth as much as $25 million, were obtained through legal channels and then falsified by Herrera and his co-conspirators before being sold to wholesalers at a discounted price. The wholesalers, who were also involved in the scheme, later sold the drugs to pharmacies without their knowledge of the alteration. The adulterated drugs included well-known medications like Truvada and Biktarvy, which are used for the prevention and treatment of HIV infection. Herrera faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for his crime and is scheduled to be sentenced on December 21.
Armando Herrera, along with his co-conspirators, set up companies in Texas, California, and Washington state to acquire large quantities of misbranded and adulterated HIV medication. These drugs were then falsified in terms of packaging, making it difficult for pharmacies and patients to detect that they were altered or misbranded. The wholesalers involved in the scheme unknowingly sold these fraudulent drugs to pharmacies across the country. Truvada and Biktarvy, both manufactured by Gilead Sciences, were among the adulterated drugs distributed. Truvada is prescribed to prevent HIV infection and is also used in combination with other drugs for treatment, while Biktarvy is used specifically for the treatment of HIV infection.
Armando Herrera and his co-conspirators received payments ranging from $16.7 million to $25 million from the wholesalers for the distribution of these adulterated drugs. The exact method or source by which Herrera and his associates acquired the drugs was not mentioned in court filings. However, it is common for medications to be obtained from individual patients who were originally prescribed the drugs. Herrera now faces a maximum possible prison sentence of five years for his role in the distribution of these adulterated HIV medications. His lawyer has not yet provided a comment on the case.