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Unlicensed drugs seized by DHSSPS Enforcement Officers as part of internet investigation

A quantity of unlicensed erectile dysfunction medicines have been recovered by DHSSPS Medicines Regulatory Group officials during a search under warrant of a residential dwelling in the Mallusk area of Newtownabbey.
Friday, 26 April 2013

The search operation supported by the Police Service was part of an ongoing investigation being conducted by DHSSPS concerning the illegal online sale of Prescription Only Medicines in Northern Ireland.

A 33 year-old man was formally interviewed by Department of Health officers about the illegal activity. He will now be the subject of a report to the Public Prosecution Service.

Medicines Regulatory Group Senior Enforcement Officer, Peter Moore said: “It is vital that people realise the dangers of taking unlicensed medicines. These types of products being sold, usually online, have undergone no quality control and there can be no guarantee about their safety. This investigation further demonstrates our determination to crack down on this illegal activity.

“The public is advised that they should steer clear of unregistered websites or unlicensed internet sellers of these types of medicines. I would urge the public to be vigilant and ensure that they do not put their health at risk or fund this crime by purchasing medication from an illicit or dubious source.

“If you are thinking about buying what may be a Prescription Only Medicine, we strongly urge you to consult your doctor, rather than purchase the medicine direct from an internet supplier without a prescription.”

Professor Mike Mawhinney, Head of MRG added: “People who acquire medicines without the benefit of a consultation with an appropriate healthcare professional risk being supplied with medicines that are not safe or not suitable for them to use.”

Prescription Only Medicines should only be taken in consultation with a healthcare professional, particularly your GP and your pharmacist. This is particularly important when you are already taking other medicines at the same time, because interactions between medicines may cause side effects.

Notes to editors:

1. Medicines offence:

Regulation 46(1) of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012: A person may not sell or supply, or offer to sell or supply an unauthorised medicinal product.
A person guilty of an offence is liable:

(a) On summary conviction to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum; or

(b) On conviction on indictment to a fine, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years, or to both.

2. To report any suspicious activity in relation to any unauthorised or counterfeit medicines in Northern Ireland, please contact Mr Peter Moore, Senior Medicines Enforcement Officer, DHSSPS Medicines Regulatory Group, on: 028 90522094 or by email: peter.moore@dhsspsni.gov.uk or counterfeit.mrg@dhsspsni.gov.uk

3. Enquiries about this press release should be directed to the DHSSPS press office on 028 9052 0575, or out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be returned.