Belfast woman in court for illegal possession of cosmetic prescription medicines

Date published: 29 August 2017

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A 50 year old woman was today convicted at Belfast Magistrates' Court for possessing illegal prescription medicines intended for supply to members of the general public from her home in East Belfast.

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Barbara Byne, from Orby Road, Belfast, received a Conditional Discharge for a period of two years plus offender levy, having pleaded guilty to four charges before the court. The charges concerned her unlawful possession with intent to supply Lidocaine HCL Hydrate Epinephrine Injections, an unauthorised local anaesthetic prescription only medicine and to the online advertisement of a prescription only medicine Botulinum Toxin, more commonly known as ‘Botox’.

An investigation conducted by the Department of Health’s Medicines Regulatory Group led to a search under warrant of her Orby Road address in February 2017.  During the search, unauthorised medicinal products of Asian origin were recovered. The investigation also uncovered online advertisements placed by Ms Byne on social media platforms offering the prescription only medicine ‘Botox’ to the public.

Peter Moore, Senior Medicines Enforcement Officer in the Department of Health said: “Prescription only medicines such as Botox commonly used in cosmetic procedures should only be prescribed by an appropriately trained healthcare professional, such as a doctor, dentist, pharmacist prescriber or nurse prescriber and administration of these medicines should be conducted by a healthcare professional or under their direction.

 “My advice to the public is that it is just not worth the risk to step outside the properly regulated sector. Don’t be tempted by cut price offers from dubious sources as you cannot be sure exactly what you are getting or the level of qualification or competency of the person supplying it to you.”

Professor Mike Mawhinney, Head of the Medicines Regulatory Group in the Department of Health, added: "This kind of illegal activity poses a significant risk to public health. The Department will continue to be vigilant in the regulation of medicines and in maintaining public safety."

Notes to editors: 

To report any suspicious activity in relation to any unauthorised or counterfeit medicines, 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

Enquiries about this press release should be directed to the DoH Press Office on 028 9052 0575, or email pressoffice@health-ni.gov.uk. For out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07623 974383 and your call will be returned. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt

Charges

  • On 23rd day of February 2017 had in your possession a medicinal product to which Regulation 214(1) of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 applies with intent to supply it otherwise that in accordance with a prescription of an appropriate practitioner  contrary to Regulation 255(4) of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012(5017512SB)
  • On 9th day of November 2016 in contravention of Regulation 284(1) of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012, published an advertisement that was likely to lead to the use of a prescription only medicine  contrary to Regulation 303(1) of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012.(5017499SB)
  • On 23rd day of February 2017 in contravention of Regulation 284(1) of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012, published an advertisement that was likely to lead to the use of a prescription only medicine  contrary to Regulation 303(1) of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012.(5017499SB)
  • Between the 9th day of November 2016  and the 23rd day of November 2017 in contravention of Regulation 46(1) of The Human Medicines Regulations 2012, did sell, supply, or offer to sell or supply an unauthorised medicinal product namely Lidocaine HCI Hydrate Epinephrine Injections contrary to Regulation 47(1) of The Human Medicines Regulations 2012(5017492SB)

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