KV Pharmaceutical
4:28 pm
Thu March 10, 2011

Former KV Pharmaceutical CEO pleads guilty to misbranding drugs

The former chairman and CEO of St. Louis-based KV Pharmaceutical Co. has pleaded guilty to two federal charges of misbranding drugs.

The U.S. Attorney's office says that 69-year-old Marc S. Hermelin entered the pleas Thursday. He was sentenced to one month in prison and a $1 million fine and agreed to forfeit $900,000 to the federal government.

KV Pharmaceutical manufactured generic prescription drugs, including a pain relief and opiate drug called morphine sulfate.

Prosecutors said Hermelin decided to increase production of the drug, from an average 4.1 million daily doses in 2006 to 10.6 million in April 2008.

Later that year, the company shipped oversized tablets to retailers in California and Canada that were falsely labeled as having the same strength as the regular morphine sulfate tablets. In fact, they had more of the active ingredient.