Indictment filed in prescription veterinary drug case

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On March 17, a U.S. attorney announced the filing of a multiple-count indictment charging Marvin Goldberg, 59, of Philadelphia with defrauding pharmaceutical companies to obtain prescription veterinary drugs, including a steroid drug. The report states that Goldberg falsely claimed the drugs would be sold to and dispensed by veterinarians who had veterinarian-client-patient relationships with animals.

Goldberg worked with a Philadelphia company called Equihealth Products, formerly known as Equirace Health and Speed, said Anita Eve, the assistant U.S. attorney who has been assigned to the case.

Goldberg allegedly advertised the sale of prescription veterinary drugs through a Web site and unsolicited faxes to animal owners in the United States. The report claims Goldberg distributed the drugs without a lawful or written order of a licensed veterinarian in the course of the veterinarian's professional practice.

"[Goldberg] contacted primarily horse owners and offered to sell them prescription veterinary medicines, including injectables, without the need of a prescription or the intervention of a veterinarian," Eve said. "Anybody, not just animal owners, could obtain prescription drugs from him."

The Food and Drug Administration took part in the case investigation.

If convicted, Goldberg will face a maximum sentence of 606 years of imprisonment and, depending on the actual sentence he receives, up to three years of supervised release. He will also be subject to pay a $9.5 million fine along with $3,800 in court costs.