Articles from May 2009

Counterfeit drugs containing chemicals ranging from road paint to printer ink are being sold across the South East.

An undercover investigation by the BBC found illegal pharmaceutical drugs being sold by dealers in Kent.. Dover MP Gwyn Prosser said he wanted an inquiry into the trading of the drugs and would raise the issue at the Home Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said it was a crime that also robbed people of the chance to be diagnosed. It is thought that more than two million people in the UK buy medicines over the internet, many of which are counterfeit, substandard or unapproved.  A BBC reporter found illegal drugs being advertised in a shop window in Whitstable.  In a deal that took place in the neighbouring car park, the reporter bought 40 fake Viagra pills, called Kamagra, for £85. To read the full story Click Here (18 May 2009, BBC)

Medicines Regulator Warns Of Dangers Of Obtaining Online Medicines For H1N1 Influenza A

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is warning consumers about the dangers of obtaining medicines for H1N1 influenza A online, as cyber criminals could attempt to profit from the threat of a pandemic.

A recent INTERPOL statement says between three and four per cent of SPAM emails currently in circulation relate to H1N1 influenza A with hundreds of new web pages on the subject also appearing.  The MHRA believes this will include online offers for the sale of Tamiflu and/or Relenza, the anti-viral medicines available on prescription only.

The risk of obtaining substandard or counterfeit medicines is significantly increased when prescription only medicines (POMs) are purchased from unauthorised sources such as illegal online pharmacies. The public are urged not to purchase such medicines online.

There are a range of penalties available under the law for dealing with offences including fraud, theft and supply of counterfeit drugs.  The MHRA is actively monitoring the Internet for sales of suspected counterfeit Tamiflu and Relenza. To read the full story Click Here (12 May 2009, Medical News Today)

Warning against buying flu drugs online

Drugs being sold as treatments for swine flu by unauthorised internet suppliers could be hazardous to health, the UK drug-safety watchdog has warned. It says there is a risk that drugs not supplied by a registered pharmacy could be substandard or counterfeit.

Online marketing of antiviral medicines is being produced by ‘cyber criminals’ hoping to profit from the public’s fears about swine flu, according to the authorities. INTERPOL, the international police organisation, says that around 4 percent of the billions of spam emails sent every day relate to H1N1 flu (swine flu). Many of these are likely to offer for sale the anti-flu drugs Tamiflu (generic name oseltamivir) and Relenza (zanamivir).

The World Health Organization estimates that half the drugs sold by online pharmacies without a physical address are counterfeit. Counterfeit products may contain no medicine, or even be made from harmful chemicals. To read the full story Click Here (08 May 2009, Guardian)