60,000 units of illegal prescription drugs seized
Over 60,000 units of illegal prescription medicines have been seized as part of a week-long operation by the Health Products Regulatory Authority.
The seizures include 78 abortion pills illegally imported, in the form of Misoprostol and Mifepristone.
The counterfeit and other illegal medicines were worth around €350,000.
Among the other products seized were anabolic steroids, sedatives, painkillers, stimulants, illegal injectable tanning products, botulinum toxins and weight-loss products.
The operation also resulted in the seizure of medicines indicated for cancer and erectile dysfunction.
A total of 67 websites were also investigated and several closed down.
The operation took place from 30 May to 7 JUne and was supported by An Garda Síochána, the Revenue’s Customs Service and international agencies.
Chief executive of the Health Products Regulatory Authority Lorraine Nolan said it was important for the public to realise that falsified medicines pose a very significant risk to their health.
She said that from tests on some products detained in recent years, many contain too much, or too little, or no active ingredient at all and there are no guarantees as to what is contained in the products.
The operation targeted criminal networks behind the sale of counterfeit medicines and devices, mainly through online sales.
The HPRA said that no online pharmacy is authorised to supply prescription medicines into Ireland and under law, the supply of prescription-only medicine by mail order is prohibited.
The main countries of origin for the falsified products detained here were India, USA, UK, Romania, Switzerland, Singapore and Poland.