From The Tribune staff reports
BIRMINGHAM — U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Criminal Investigations, Miami Field Office Special Agent in Charge Justin C. Fielder announced a Birmingham man pleaded guilty in a case involving misbranded and adulterated drugs.
Patrick Charles Bishop, is accused of producing unapproved drug products in his kitchen in Birmingham and in a warehouse in Pelham, and marketing them as cancer treatments.
The 54-year-old pleaded guilty in the federal case Thursday to one count of conspiracy for fraudulently introducing adulterated drugs and misbranded drugs into interstate commerce.
According to the plea agreement, Bishop owned and operated Patrick, LLC, an entity organized in Nevada.
“Between 2015 and 2016, Bishop purchased, manufactured, labeled, marketed, sold, and distributed drug products purportedly containing a peptide called PNC-27,” Escalona said in a press release. “PNC-27 has not been approved by the FDA for use in the United States as a drug to treat any disease, including cancer, nor has PNC-27 undergone clinical trials in the United States.”
Prosecutors believe Bishop took steps to conceal his product from the FDA.
“Bishop used the business name Best Peptide Supply, LLC, to buy PNC-27 from GL Biochem, a manufacturer based in China, and used the business name Immuno Cellular Restoration Program, Inc., to sell PNC-27 products to others,” Escalona continued. “He described his distribution of PNC-27 products as part of a research effort, and made false representations to FDA personnel and others.”
Bishop paid GL Biochem more than $600,000 for the product.
“Bishop repeatedly assured the manufacturer that he would use the peptide solely for laboratory research purposes,” the press release stated. “But instead, he used the peptide to make homemade suppositories in his kitchen in Birmingham, and at a warehouse he rented in Pelham. The facilities were not sterile, and did not comply with current good manufacturing practices. Customers who purchased suppositories from Bishop reported finding pieces of hair in their suppository packs.”
Prosecutors say the product was marketed to alternative-medicine doctors, cancer patients and others.
“Bishop sold PNC-27 drug products to Hope4Cancer, a holistic cancer treatment center with clinics in Mexico,” Escalona added. “Bishop shipped the products to a location in California, and Hope4Cancer would use the products to treat patients at its Mexico clinics. Bishop also sold PNC-27 drug products to patients and others in the United States.”
The maximum punishment for conspiracy is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date has been set for May 5, 2021.
The FDA investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney J.B. Ward is prosecuting.