Former Pharmakon CEO Convicted
The former owner and chief executive officer of a Noblesville pharmaceutical company has been convicted of adulterating drugs and defrauding the federal government. Paul Elmer of Fishers, formerly of Pharmakon Pharmaceuticals Inc., was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the Food and Drug Administration and nine counts of adulterating drugs. The verdict was announced Thursday after an eight-day trial in Indianapolis.
The 67-year old formerly licensed pharmacist was responsible for the company selling under, and over-potent drugs to hospitals across the U.S. from 2013 to 2016. Some patients overdosed, including infants. Elmer, and the company's former compliance director, Caprice Bearden, directed Pharmakon to ship compounded drugs to customers without having received laboratory test results that verified the strength of the drugs. The trial uncovered that despite receiving test results showing the potency was incorrect, Elmer failed to notify the customers, or the FDA, and did not recall the drugs.
“The jury’s findings in this case resonate with citizens of every age,” said Josh J. Minkler, United States Attorney. “Specifically, hospitals and patients from every walk of life rely on the integrity of pharmaceutical manufacturers like Pharmakon to make safe drugs. This defendant prioritized profit over safety and the jury’s verdict demonstrates the government’s resolve to protect our citizens. Good pharmaceutical manufacturers, who work with the FDA achieve that goal.”
Bearden pleaded guilty in 2017. Sentencing dates for Elmer and Bearden have not been set.