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Melanotan-II, Other Peptides and the Law of “Research Purposes Only” Chemicals

The U.S. Government’s Department of Justice has recently prosecuted conduct involving the marketing and distribution of Melanotan I, Melanotan II, Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone (“CJC-1295”), Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide-6 (“GHRP-6”), GHRP-2, GHRH-RP, Myostatin Propeptide, Mechano Growth Factor (“MGF”) and other peptide chemicals for “Research Purposes Only.”  Collins, McDonald & Gann partner and SteroidLaw.com founder Rick Collins predicted over a decade ago that the introduction of peptide chemicals into interstate commerce under the guise of “research chemicals” could be viewed by the FDA and the Department of Justice as a crime, and presented his cautionary views in an online Q & A accessible here.  Is it legal to see peptides for “research purposes only”?  The interview gives a solid introduction to what is meant by chemicals for “research purposes only” and the laws that may apply.

As discussed in the interview, the criminal exposure in the marketing and distribution of peptide chemicals for “Research Purposes Only” is determined by the factual circumstances.  If the marketer is labeling or disclaiming that the chemicals are for “Research Purposes Only” but objective facts suggest that the labels or disclaimers are bogus and that the real intent is to sell the peptides to bodybuilders or other consumers for personal use such as tanning or building muscle, then the FDA and Department of Justice view it as a fraud.

Of course, this is a very different kind of “fraud” than what we might typically think of.  In traditional frauds, somebody is swindled and suffers a loss.  A little old lady may lose her pension having purchased real property that doesn’t exist, or a consumer may be fooled into thinking the product he bought is authentic when it’s fake and worthless.  However, in peptide cases, the buyer is not deceived at all but rather is getting precisely what he or she wanted.  The “fraud” is upon the FDA, which is tasked with overseeing the approval of drugs.  False “research purposes only” disclaimers “defraud” the FDA out of its regulatory authority.  While it may be a feeble fraud in some cases, in that blatant marketing in bodybuilding forums and magazines arguably makes the true intent readily apparent to anyone, the Department of Justice sees it as a fraud nonetheless and may bring charges including mail fraud and introduction of misbranded drugs into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud and mislead.

Most criminal lawyers or FDA lawyers are totally unfamiliar with this topic and may provide gravely incorrect advice.  Some have assisted clients in setting up businesses to sell peptides for “research purposes only” only to see those clients later indicted.  At the law firm of Collins, McDonald and Gann, peptide matters are handled solely by the criminal defense division.  Our firm’s success in defending these cases in federal criminal courts has been outstanding.  While past results can never guarantee future outcomes, firm partner Rick Collins has successfully litigated a variety of issues involving the marketing and distribution of Melanotan I, Melanotan II, Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone (“CJC-1295”), Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide-6 (“GHRP-6”), GHRP-2, GHRH-RP, Myostatin Propeptide, Mechano Growth Factor (“MGF”) and other peptide chemicals with excellent results, including whether conduct regarding certain of these peptides involves a conscious and reckless risk of serious bodily injury or death.

Recently, more people are being arrested for selling peptides for “research purposes only” and prosecuted for selling “research chemicals.” If you have been investigated or are charged with unlawfully marketing or distributing Melanotan I, Melanotan II, Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone (“CJC-1295”), Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide-6 (“GHRP-6”), GHRP-2, GHRH-RP, Myostatin Propeptide, Mechano Growth Factor (“MGF”) or any other peptide chemicals or any other prescription drug active ingredients for “Research Purposes Only,” call the lawyers at Collins, McDonald & Gann at 516-294-0300 for a free consultation on what defenses are available to you and how we might help.