A 45 year old Ballymena man has been convicted at Ballymena Magistrates Court for illegally importing a large quantity of unlicensed erectile dysfunction medicines.
Robert Clarke, from Brigadie Crescent, Ballymena, was fined £500 plus court costs, having pleaded guilty to unlawfully importing the unlicensed prescription drugs from Hong Kong.
Ballymena Magistrates Court heard that UK Border Force had intercepted the illegal tablets destined for Clarke’s Ballymena address in November 2013.
During a follow up investigation carried out by the Department of Health’s Medicines Regulatory Group, it was established that Clarke had sourced the illegal medicines via the internet and had intended to sell them on online auction websites.
DHSSPS Medicines Regulatory Group Senior Enforcement Officer, Mr Peter Moore, said: “It is vital that we continue to get the message across that the use of any medicines sourced in this way, no matter what they are, is a real risk. Our message is simple – don’t be tempted to bypass the regulated health system in Northern Ireland. I would urge the public to be on the alert to ensure that they do not put their health at risk or fund this type of crime by purchasing medication from unregistered or unregulated internet sites or any other illicit source.
“When you buy a medicine from an unregistered website or unregulated source, you will never know the conditions that product has been made in. On top of that, you very well may be receiving a product that is fake or reacts adversely with any other medication you take.”
Professor Mike Mawhinney, Head of the Medicines Regulatory Group, added: “The Department has made it very clear that it will continue to be vigilant and proactive in the regulation of medicines in Northern Ireland. My advice to the public is that they should only take prescription only medicines after an appropriate consultation with their GP. Only healthcare professionals can take into account risks and benefits associated with every medicine.”