A North Carolina man will spend a year behind bars for peddling steroids-like drugs, officials said.
A federal judge sentenced Brian Michael Parks, 47, to one year and one day in jail for selling sports supplements that contained drugs that mimic testosterone and anabolic steroids, the United States Department of Justice announced this week.
He pleaded guilty in November 2020 to one count of distributing unapproved new drugs with the intent to mislead and defraud the FDA and consumers.
Parks is the former owner of MedFixRX, Inc, now known as MedFit Sarmacuticals Inc., based in North Carolina. From June 2017 to September 2019, the company distributed products containing Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (“SARMs”) and other substances that were not approved by the FDA.
The FDA has warned about the use of SARMs, stating that they’ve been linked to life-threatening reactions like liver toxicity. They also have the potential to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
“‘Sports supplements’ that are manufactured and distributed outside the FDA’s oversight and that contain unapproved and possibly toxic ingredients endanger the health of unsuspecting consumers,” said Assistant Commissioner for Criminal Investigations Catherine Hermsen, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations.
When he pleaded guilty, Parks admitted that he’d intentionally omitted ingredients from his product labels, according to federal officials.
He falsely claimed that his products were licensed and registered, and marketed them as dietary supplements or sports supplements to make consumers think they were safe to use.
When he pleaded guilty, Parks also agreed to forfeit $1.2 million, which was the amount of MedFitRX products he sold across the U.S. through retail outlets and over the internet.