Thomas Bader Loses Appeal of HGH Distribution Charges But $5 Million Forfeiture Overturned

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Thomas Bader, the owner and licensed pharmacist for College Pharmacy, recently lost an appeal related to a January 2010 conviction for the importation human growth hormone (hGH). However, he succeeded in having a $4.8 million forfeiture overturned. College Pharmacy was a compounding pharmacy located in Colorado Springs.

Bader was also successful in having the following convictions overturned: the possession and distribution of anabolic steroids, knowingly facilitating the sale of hGH and conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids and hGH.

Bader instructed employees to seek inexpensive human growth hormone (hGH) as early as 2004. Kevin Henry, a College Pharmacy sales representative, contacted Bradley Blum, a domestic representative for the China-based pharmaceutical company GeneScience. This led to a long-term business relationship in which College Pharmacy imported Jintropin brand hGH and repackaged and relabeled it for its customers.

Bader claimed to be unaware that he was doing anything illegal. Consequently, he turned down plea agreements and demanded a jury trial. Bader had hoped a jury would exonerate him and clear his name. After a four-week trial, the jury convicted him of thirty-one counts related to the smuggling and distribution of hGH and anabolic steroids in January 2010.

College Pharmacy made the mistake of importing Jintropin hGH as a “finished drug product”. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires the approval of a New Drug Application (NDA) before a “finished drug product” can be legally imported.

Compounding pharmacies are permitted to import active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) on a case-by-case basis without the submission of a NDA.

The relabeling and repackaging of the Jintropin vials by College Pharmacy did not change the fact that Jintropin was defined as a “finished drug product” for purposes of importation.

“As a pharmacist I never had any intention to violate any law. Had I known if what I was doing was illegal, I wouldn’t have done it,” Bader told United States District Judge Marcia Krieger. “I thought I was following the law, but I stand before you convicted.”

Bader’s case has been remanded to the district court for reconsideration.


Cain, R. (May 4, 2012). Pharmacist’s HGH Conviction Affirmed, $4.8M Forfeiture Reversed. Retrieved from

Department of Justice. (January 2, 2010). Colorado Springs Pharmacist Convicted of Charges Related to Importation and Distribution of Anabolic Steroids and Chinese-Made Human Growth Hormones. Retrieved from