Armagh shop owner convicted for illegal sale of prescription medicines

Date published: 15 July 2016

A 54 year-old Lithuanian woman was today convicted at Armagh Magistrates Court for the sale and supply of illegal prescription medicines from her convenience food store in Armagh.

Court Case

Birute Sliogeriene was fined £150.00 plus a £15.00 offender levy, having pleaded guilty to three charges before the court, concerning the sale of unauthorised pharmacy and prescription only medicines over a 12 month period between 2014 and 2015.

The court heard that the Department of Health’s Medicines Regulatory Group enforcement officers visited the Upper English Street shop in September 2015, seizing over 2500 tablets amongst the illegal medicines found on open sale. The medicines seized were of Lithuanian and Russian origin and included those for the treatment of infection, heart conditions and for pain relief.

Peter Moore, Senior Medicines Enforcement Officer with the Department of Health said: "If you buy a medicine from unregulated High Street sources like this, you very well may be receiving a product that is unlicensed, fake or could react adversely with any other medication you take.

“People should only take prescription only medicines after an appropriate consultation with their GP or other healthcare professional and source them from a registered pharmacy.”

Professor Mike Mawhinney, Head of the Medicines Regulatory Group, added: "The range of medicines on offer for sale in this case poses a significant risk to public health. The Department will continue to be vigilant and proactive in the regulation of medicines and maintaining public safety.

“To this end we will continue to conduct further inspections across Northern Ireland and take action where necessary.”

Conviction information

  • On a date or dates unknown between the 3rd day of September 2014 and the 3rd day of September 2015 in the County Court Division of Armagh and South Down did sell or supply a prescription only medicine except in accordance with a prescription given by an appropriate practitioner contrary to Regulation 214 of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012.
  • On the 3rd day of September 2015 in the County Court Division of Armagh and South Down, in contravention of Regulation 46(1) of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 did sell, supply or offer to sell or supply unauthorised medicinal products, contrary to Regulation 47(1) of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012.
  • On the 3rd day of September 2015 in the County Court Division of Armagh and South Down, in contravention of Regulation 220(1) of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012, did sell, supply or offer to sell or supply a medicinal product that is not subject to general sale, contrary to Regulation 255(1)(c) of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012.

Notes to editors: 

  1. To report any suspicious activity in relation to any unauthorised or counterfeit medicines in the north of Ireland, please contact Mr Peter Moore, Senior Medicines Enforcement Officer, DoH Medicines Regulatory Group, on: 028 9052 2094 or by email: peter.moore@health-ni.gov.uk
  2. Enquiries about this press release should be directed to the DoH press office on 028 9052 0505, or out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be returned. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt

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