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Over €600,000 worth of counterfeit medicines seized

Weight loss tablets, insulin and erectile dysfunction medicine among 190,000 seized tablets.

A JOINT OPERATION by the Irish Medicines Board (IMB), Revenue’s Customs Service and the gardai has seized 192,000 counterfeit and illegal presrciption medicines.

The operation, entitled Operation Pangea VI, was an part of an international week of action that focused on the online sale of counterfeit and illegal medicines. Authorities from 100 countries participated in the INTERPOL initiative.

58 people have been arrested worldwide and over 9,600 online pharmacy websites have been shut down.

In Ireland, the operation led to the seizure of 192,061 tablets with an estimated value of €612,535. The haul was spread across 270 packages. Chief executive of the Irish Medicines Board, Pat O’Mahony said that in the first half of the year, Irish authorities had seized over €2 million in illegal medicine.

“This is only one element of our year long concerted strategy with partner agencies – An Garda Síochána and Revenue’s Customs Service, to stem the flow of counterfeit and illegal medicines coming into Ireland.

In the first six months of this year, we have detained over 671,230 illegal and counterfeit medicines, valued at €2,013,708, including over 192,061 medicines alone in this week-long Operation.

Detained products were largely comprised weight loss tablets, erectile dysfunction tablets and capsules, antibiotics, hormones and steroid products, antidepressants, pain killers, cardiac medication, cholesterol lowering medication, cancer medication and insulin.

O’Mahony went on to say that counterfeit drugs could be harmful to users’ health.
“The IMB strongly advises consumers not to purchase medicines  through any unauthorised sources as there can be no guarantee that they are genuine or safe.
“Consumers must recognise that they are placing their own health in very real danger.”

All pictures; Jason Clarke Photography

Read: ‘Designer drugs’ being sold as ‘bath salts’ and ‘spice’ causing concern
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