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Three sentenced for illegal sale and supply of unlicensed medicines

Pharmacy News

Three sentenced for illegal sale and supply of unlicensed medicines

Three men from Manchester have been sentenced for the illegal sale and online supply of prescription-only medicines and controlled Class B and Class C drugs with a street value of more than £1.5 million.

Cleave Lewis, 35, and brothers, Denis Sutherland, 58, and David Sutherland, 59, were found in possession of nearly 1.3 million prescription-only drugs including powerful sleeping pills, painkillers and anti-anxiety medicines after a search of their homes and business premises by officers from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and Greater Manchester Police in October 2017.

The men had pleaded guilty in November 2021 to making the medicines available for sale online without the need for a prescription on three different websites.

They were also found in possession of more than half a million erectile dysfunction, slimming and herbal tablets worth around £500,000. Denis Sutherland was jailed for  three years, while David Sutherland and Cleave Lewis were sentenced to a year in jail, suspended for two years, with 200 hours of unpaid community work each.

“Criminals trading in medicines illegally like this are not only breaking the law, but they also have no regard for your safety. These are powerful medicines that can lead to serious adverse health consequences if taken without appropriate medical supervision,” said the MHRA’s deputy director of criminal enforcement Andy Morling.

“We work hard to prevent, detect and investigate illegal activity involving medicines and medical devices to protect the public and defeat this harmful trade.

“Our Criminal Enforcement Unit will continue working to protect your health by disrupting this harmful trade and bringing dangerous offenders to justice.”

This story was originally published by Independent Community Pharmacist.

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