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7 January 2015Big Pharma

UK man charged over fake erectile dysfunction pills

Police in the UK have charged a man after accusing him of selling counterfeit drugs including erectile dysfunction and abortion medicines online.

Dmitrij Selkov, who lives in Ipswich, was charged with 17 offences under the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 and the Trademarks Act 1994 that cover the selling of prescription drugs online.

Selkov was arrested in January following a swoop at a property by officials from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and local police officers. He will appear in court later this month.

The MHRA is responsible for regulating medicines and medical devices in the UK by ensuring that they work and are safe.

In a statement, a spokesperson told LSIPR that consumers should be careful when buying medicines from websites that are not genuine pharmacies.

“You don’t know what you’re getting, where it came from or if it’s safe to take. The dose could be too high or too low, or the ingredients could break down incorrectly in the body, which makes the medicine ineffective,” the spokesman said.

“Don’t be tempted by cut-price medicines and promises of ‘next day delivery’. Taking short cuts could expose you to a dangerous counterfeit or substandard medicine,” it added.

“The bottom line is that there are no quick fixes when it comes to your health.”

The case is the latest in a number of seizures of counterfeit pharmaceuticals.

Last month, nearly 170,000 counterfeit medicinal items were seized following a police raid in Hungary. The counterfeits, which included copies of Roche’s epilepsy treatment drug Rivotril (clonazepam), were discovered in the basement of a building in the capital city Budapest.

In the UK, in a week-long operation in June 2013 the MHRA said it seized a record £12.2 million ($18.4 million) worth of counterfeit and unlicensed medicines.

That was part of a week-long international crackdown called Operation Pangea VI, targeting the illegal internet trade of medicines. More than $40.4 million worth of drugs was seized globally as part of the operation.

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