Charges filed in deadly drug shipment misbranding

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DALLAS (AP) -- Federal charges have been leveled against a Dallas-based mail-order compounding pharmacy over a shipment of a misbranded drug ingredient federal officials blame for three deaths in the Pacific Northwest.

A Justice Department statement Friday says ApotheCure Inc. and its owner, Gary D. Osborn, have been charged with two misdemeanor criminal violations of the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

The case centers on a February 2007 shipment of a gout drug containing some vials with dosages more than seven times stronger than what was shown on the label, and some with strengths about two-thirds those shown.

The shipment went to a now-defunct Portland, Ore., medical center. Autopsies showed three patients who died there after receiving the drug died of overdoses.

A message left at Apothecure Friday wasn't returned.