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Home Industry News RPS responds to TV uncovering of counterfeit medicines

RPS responds to TV uncovering of counterfeit medicines

16th January 2006

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has called for a government inquiry after a TV programme revealed how counterfeit medicines can be put into circulation.

ITV’s Tonight with Trevor MacDonald went undercover to discover that a Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) wholesaler’s licence could be obtained using fake details.

David Pruce, director of Practice & Quality Improvement at the RPS, said: “Counterfeit medicines are a threat to patient safety and we are extremely concerned about the ease with which the programme obtained a Wholesale Dealer’s Licence from the MHRA.

“This system urgently needs review in order to prevent it being used as a potential route for counterfeit medicines to enter the legitimate medicine supply chain. We are urging the government to conduct an urgent inquiry into the system of licensing of wholesale dealers.”

The TV programme also highlighted issues over security in the supply of drugs.

The MHRA responded by stating it takes the problem of counterfeits seriously and will investigate and prosecute those involved.

The agency said in a statement: “We keep our licensing procedures under regular review to ensure that they are robust and provide appropriate safeguards for public health.

“These procedures are subject to external review, for example by the National Audit Office and the British Standards Institute. Our approach in this is to combine a strong and proportionate system of inspection and regulation, whilst also pressing for the severest penalties against those who are found to breach the legislation.”

It added that providing false information to gain a licence was a criminal offence.

track© Adfero Ltd

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