Intended for healthcare professionals


Regulators seize 6.2 million doses of illegally traded medicines in UK

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 22 June 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h3365
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

Investigators worldwide have seized more than 20 million doses of illegally traded medicines and medical devices worth £51.6m (€72.4m; $81.7m) in a global crackdown across 115 countries. A haul of 6.2 million doses in the United Kingdom was worth £15.8m, the country’s highest figure yet recorded.

The figures were published on 18 June by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) as part of the international clampdown known as Operation Pangea, now in its eighth year.

Alastair Jeffrey, the agency’s head of enforcement, said that concerns were growing that more “criminal gangs” were looking to trade fake and unlicensed medicines and devices because of low penalties and sentencing. He warned that many people were risking their health and that most of these were seeking “lifestyle medicines,” such as potentially harmful slimming pills, on the internet. …

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