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14 November 2016Americas

Allergan sues ‘rogue’ importer for trademark infringement

Allergan has filed a complaint against pharmaceutical wholesaler Amazon Medica in the US District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division for alleged trademark infringement.

According to the complaint, filed on Thursday, November 10, Amazon Medica is “a rogue and unlicensed foreign criminal entity that illegally advertises, imports, sells, and ships prescription medicines to unwitting doctors” in the US.

There is no suggestion that the company is linked to e-commerce website Amazon.

The complaint explains that the doctors, in turn, inject the alleged unlawfully obtained and potentially unsafe prescription medicines into patients, making this an unsafe practice.

Amazon Medica has allegedly offered the practitioners the possibility to reduce costs by purchasing medicines through the company.

The case arose after Amazon Medica started selling medical devices in the US without the approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Allergan claims that all of the Allergan-branded products sold by Amazon Medica are mislabelled and adulterated.

These products are manufactured overseas and are imported without the consent of Allergan, the US trademark owner, and therefore constitute trademark infringement.

Amazon Medica has also been accused of masquerading as a legitimate business, presenting itself as “Great Britain’s #1 parallel importer”, “fully licensed”, and as being comprised of “experienced pharmacists and pharmaceutical wholesalers” that are registered to practise in the US.

However, according to Allergan, the company provided customers with false addresses.

The accused company allegedly makes false and misleading statements to deceive healthcare practitioners into thinking the products which it sells are safe, effective, FDA-approved and legal.

Allergan said in the complaint that Amazon Medica aggressively engages in deceptive and misleading marketing throughout the US.

In the complaint, Allergan has asked the court to permanently enjoin Amazon Medica from selling the misbranded drugs in the US.

It has also asked the court for a judgment that Amazon Medica has engaged in unfair competition and false advertising.

Allergan has demanded a jury trial.

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