herald

Thursday 18 October 2018

Weight loss pills tops list of fake drugs

WEIGHT loss pills and erectile dysfunction products have topped the list of illegal and counterfeit drugs seized by authorities here.

More than 153,000 doses of weight loss products were among the haul, the Irish Medicines Board (IMB) said.

The annual report for 2012 outlined that overall, 758,276 dosage units of counterfeit and illegal medicines were detained last year.

It said that 153,042 dosage units related to weight loss products, and 52,089 related to erectile dysfunction products. A further 16,848 related to anabolic steroids.

Weight loss products which were seized contained the active substance sibutramine, which is not permitted in any authorised medicinal product in the EU.

Sibutramine was withdrawn from use as a medicine in Ireland and across the entire EU in early 2010 due to the increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.

The IMB said that it was concerned with the consistent levels of illegal and counterfeit medicines that were being detained year on year, and warned consumers about the dangers of purchasing medicines from unauthorised sources.

MEDICINES

Its figures for last year show that 246,951 of the doses seized were sedative products, which was a massive jump from the previous year's figures when 153,483 such products were seized.

According to the IMB, the majority of the unauthorised medicinal products supplied into Ireland originated from India or China.

Pat O'Mahony, the chief executive of the organisation, said: "The IMB strongly recommends that members of the public never purchase prescription medicines online as there are no guarantees as to the safety, quality or effectiveness of these products.

He said medicines purchased on the internet can pose serious health risks to users.

He added that 725,352 tablets and capsules were seized, 24,704 packs of liquids, 5,445 packs of creams and 2,775 dosage units of powders, which were unauthorised medicinal products.

A total of 3,911 enforcement investigations involving breaches of medicinal product legislation were initiated.

The annual report also touched on other work done throughout the year .

It said that the IMB assessed 1,372 new medicine applications and 77 new clinical trials were approved to commence in Ireland.

fdillon@herald.ie

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