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31 October 2018

MHRA seizes fake medicine worth more than £2m

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has seized more than £2 million ($2.6 million) worth of counterfeit medication in the UK, according to the a statement made by the UK government.

As announced on October 24, more than 1 million doses of falsified and unlicensed medicines and medical devices made up the MHRA’s recent haul.

Diazepam (anxiety medication), modafinil (sleep disorder medication), and dermal fillers (injections used to fill out wrinkles) were among the products seized.

Enforcement officers raided a property and storage unit in the north of England, in connection with the illegal supply of potentially harmful medicines, earlier this month. The raid, conducted with local police forces, led to one arrest.

In addition, airports and mail delivery centres were also inspected.

Officers intercepted “numerous packages containing illegal consignments of medicines and medical devices including many hidden within other innocent items such as video games and clothing”, according to the release.

Finally, the MHRA took action against websites—on the open and dark web—which were offering falsified and unlicensed medical products. This led to 123 websites being shut down, and 535 online adverts being removed.

Alastair Jeffrey, head of enforcement at the MHRA, said: “Criminals who sell medicines over the internet have absolutely no regard for your health, and taking medicine which is ether falsified or unlicensed puts you at risk of serious harm.”

He advised consumers to buy medicines from legitimate high street sellers or registered pharmacies.

Other types of medicines seized by the MHRA included those targeting a wide range of conditions, including epilepsy, erectile dysfunction, and depression.

Fake condoms, dental equipment, tanning/skin lightening products, acne treatment, eyelash growth enhancers, and eye drops were also seized.

The recent seizures were part of Interpol’s global Operation Pangea. The annual operation brings international regulatory and law enforcement agencies together to combat the sale and distribution of illegal counterfeit medical products sold online.

As reported by LSIPR, Interpol has said 2018’s Operation Pangea, now in its eleventh year, led to the seizure of more than 500 tonnes of illicit pharmaceuticals worldwide.

More than 800 people have been arrested in connection with this year’s operation, and $14 million worth of potentially dangerous pharmaceuticals have been seized.

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More on this story

Americas
26 October 2018   More than 500 tonnes of illicit pharmaceuticals have been seized worldwide as part of a global operation led by Interpol, as announced on Tuesday.
Big Pharma
24 March 2020   Counterfeit face masks and unauthorised antiviral medication have been seized under Interpol’s annual Operation Pangea, as criminals seek to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by exploiting demand.

More on this story

Americas
26 October 2018   More than 500 tonnes of illicit pharmaceuticals have been seized worldwide as part of a global operation led by Interpol, as announced on Tuesday.
Big Pharma
24 March 2020   Counterfeit face masks and unauthorised antiviral medication have been seized under Interpol’s annual Operation Pangea, as criminals seek to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by exploiting demand.

More on this story

Americas
26 October 2018   More than 500 tonnes of illicit pharmaceuticals have been seized worldwide as part of a global operation led by Interpol, as announced on Tuesday.
Big Pharma
24 March 2020   Counterfeit face masks and unauthorised antiviral medication have been seized under Interpol’s annual Operation Pangea, as criminals seek to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by exploiting demand.