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MHRA warns against buying online

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has warned patients about the risks of purchasing their medicines online.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has warned patients about the risks of purchasing their medicines online.

Patients were warned after the City of Westminster Magistrates Court sentenced a man on March 31 for illegally selling unlicensed erectile dysfunction medicines over the internet.

Mr Satinder Paul Singh Samra received a £5,000 fine after pleading guilty to offences under the Medicines Act 1968 and the Medicines for Human Use (marketing authorisation) Regulations 1994.

His arrest followed a nation wide operation in England that targeted internet sites and conducting test purchases to catch out suspected black-market traders of prescription medicines.

Danny Lee-Frost, head of criminal investigations at the MHRA, said: "People must be very careful when buying their medicines online. Some of these websites can be illegal and therefore they can be putting their health at risk. At the very least they could be ripped off or at worst it could seriously damage their health."

Samra operated the illegal website from his home in Worksop, Nottinghamshire and over 20,000 capsules were found at the location that forensics discovered contained unlicensed medicinal products.

A report on the BBC news website in August 2007 revealed that industry fraud advisers MarkMonitor found that only four out of 3,000 websites selling medicines had verified internet pharmacy practice site accreditation.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) has since introduced a logo scheme to help patients indemnify legally qualified online pharmaceutical dispensers.

7th April 2008

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