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Illegal medicines worth £30 million seized in the UK in 2023

Pharmacy News

Illegal medicines worth £30 million seized in the UK in 2023

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, working with law enforcement partners, says it seized more than 15.5 million doses of illegally traded medicines with a street value of more than £30 million during 2023.

Seizures included prescription-only anti-anxiety medicines, opioids and sleeping pills and falsified and unlicensed lifestyle products such as erectile dysfunction and hair loss medications, as well as a small number of aesthetic products such as Botox and semaglutide-containing ‘weight loss’ products.

The MHRA, working with partners, also disrupted more than 12,000 websites illegally selling medical products to the public and shut down almost 3,000 social media profiles during the year.

Members of the public who see illegal products being sold online, or who suspects that their product is fake, can report their concerns through the Yellow Card scheme.

Seizure figures include all seizures made by the MHRA between 1 January and 31 December 2023, as well as seizures made with law-enforcement partners between 1 January and 30 September 2023.

Partner data for seizures made between 1 October and 31 December 2023 have not yet been submitted to the MHRA so full year data is provisional.

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