Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Editorial News
Classified Sites


Internet pharmacy pioneer Strempler going to prison

Andrew Strempler

Enlarge Image


Andrew Strempler, who launched Canada's first large Internet pharmacy and helped Americans afford life-saving drugs, has been sentenced to 48 months in prison.

Strempler originally faced three counts of mail fraud that carried a maximum sentence of 20 years each. He plea-bargained those charges down to the sentence handed down Wednesday in Miami, Fla.

The government sought a 57-month sentence. Strempler's counsel, Susan Bozorgi, countered with 41 months. Strempler also forfeited $300,000.

Bozorgi did not return phone or email messages. Strempler's former partner, Mark Rzepka, has also refused interview requests from the Free Press. Rzepka sold his interests in Strempler's company, Mediplan, also called RxNorth, in late 2004 or early 2005.

"It's a sad story," said Daren Jorgenson, who exited the Internet pharmacy business about five years ago. Strempler's story is of "a Mennonite kid from Manitoba who made so much money but money corrupted him," he said.

Strempler was in his mid-20s when he launched his business in 2001 out of a pharmacy he set up in Minnedosa that was on the brink of foreclosure. He saved the pharmacy by selling nicotine gum on eBay.

The business took off, with help from cheaper Canadian medications and a Canadian dollar worth only 68 cents U.S. He was soon employing hundreds of staff and selling prescription drugs for heart disease and diabetes across the U.S. He and his partners in Mediplan won the Prairie Entrepreneurs of the Year award.

Jorgenson said he once lived next door to Strempler when Strempler owned Leonard Asper's former home on Wellington Crescent and Jorgenson owned David Asper's former home.

"I told Andrew" to watch out, Jorgenson said.

When American pharmaceutical companies began limiting drug sales to Canadian pharmacies to counter Internet sales, many Internet pharmacies began sourcing their drugs overseas from legitimate pharmacies in Israel, Ireland, Great Britain, New Zealand and Australia. But Strempler began sourcing prescription drugs from places such as Dubai, where there is a greater potential for counterfeit drugs, said Jorgenson.

Strempler then removed the original labels and listed the country of origin as Canada. His fraud convictions stem from misrepresenting the country of origin on shipments of prescription drugs in 2005 and 2006.

An industry source said Internet pharmacies were worried a country-of-origin label from countries such as Greece and Turkey, where some drugs were sourced, could sow seeds of doubt in patients' minds. The signed agreement between U.S. authorities and Strempler states some drugs in shipments "were not consistent" with the name brands they were alleged to represent.

Strempler was living in Panama with his family prior to his arrest in a Miami airport last June.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.


Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun - Readers Choice Results
Why Not Minot?

Social Media