UK meds crack­down

Pharmacy Daily - - News -

BRI­TAIN’S Medicines and Health­care reg­u­la­tory Agency (MHRA) has pro­vided de­tails of in­ves­ti­ga­tions it is un­der­tak­ing into the di­ver­sion of pre­scrip­tion only medicines from the reg­u­lated sup­ply chain.

Or­gan­ised crime is be­lieved to be be­hind the move, with the probe re­veal­ing an “ex­ten­sive net­work of crim­i­nal­ity” in­volv­ing whole­sale deal­ers as well as a “small num­ber of reg­is­tered phar­ma­cies”.

Be­tween 2013 and 2016 an es­ti­mated £115m-£200m worth of medicines were di­verted, with MHRA con­duct­ing 19 ac­tive in­ves­ti­ga­tions dur­ing 2017 and mak­ing more than 40 ar­rests.

Key fo­cuses of the ac­tiv­ity in­clude ben­zo­di­azepines and anx­i­olyt­ics, which MHRA said are be­ing sold through il­le­gal web­sites which have also al­legedly stolen credit card de­tails from cus­tomers.

“Sell­ing medicines out­side of the reg­u­lated sup­ply chain is a se­ri­ous crim­i­nal of­fence and we are work­ing re­lent­lessly with reg­u­la­tory and law en­force­ment col­leagues to iden­tify and pros­e­cute all those in­volved in this ac­tiv­ity,” said MHRA head of en­force­ment Alas­tair Jef­frey.

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