CEO of Utah pharmacy purchased hydroxychloroquine from China facing federal charge


DRAPER, Utah (ABC4) – A Draper-based pharmacy CEO is facing federal charges for allegedly illegally importing hydroxychloroquine.

According to court documents obtained by ABC4, Daniel Richards received 50 kilograms of chloroquine and over 500 kilograms of hydroxychloroquine “in interstate commerce from China.”

Richards then allegedly “delivered and proffered for delivery for pay or otherwise.” The drugs were also misbranded when distributed, according to the document. They were presented to be “Boswellia Serrata Extract.”

He now faces one misdemeanor count of receipt of misbranded drugs in interstate commerce.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s Clinical Trials site, a 2020 study found Boswellia Serrata gum is a nutritional agent that has pharmacological actions that could support the medical intervention for COVID-19. A study by Intermountain Healthcare and the University of Utah Health found hydroxychloroquine provides no benefit to COVID-19 patients when compared with azithromycin, an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections.

In March 2020, the state of Utah purchased 20,000 units – a cost of $800,000 – of hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment option for COVID-19 from the Utah compounding pharmacy, Meds in Motion, the company that Richards serves as CEO and founder, according to its website.

In late April 2020, the Governor’s Office confirmed the state had be refunded for their purchase of the malaria drug once touted by President Donald Trump as a treatment for COVID-19.

There is no word yet if the charge against Richards is connected to Utah’s purchase and refund.

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