A 43 year-old woman was today convicted at Lisburn Magistrates' Court for the sale and supply of illegal prescription medicines from her Eastern European convenience food store in Lisburn.
Eduarda Verygiene received fines totalling £750 plus court costs, having pleaded guilty to three charges before the court in relation to the possession and sale of unauthorised, prescription only and pharmacy medicines.
The court heard that the Department of Health's Medicines Regulatory Group (MRG) enforcement officers visited the Tonagh Drive shop in September 2016, seizing over 3,000 tablets amongst a range of illegal medicines found on open sale. The medicines seized were of Lithuanian and Russian origin and included those for the treatment of infection, digestive disorders and for pain relief.
Peter Moore, Senior Medicines Enforcement Officer with the Department of Health said: "Medicines are not everyday consumer goods - and appropriately, strict legal controls apply to their sale and supply. If you buy a medicine from unregulated high street sources like this, you may well be exposing yourself to a product that is unlicensed, fake or could react adversely with any other medication you may take.
"People should only take prescription 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: "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.
"To this end we will continue to conduct further inspections across Northern Ireland and take action where necessary."
Notes to editors:
1. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Enquiries about this press release should be directed to the DoH Press Office on 028 9052 0575, or email email@example.com. 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
3. On the 26th day of September 2016 in the County Court Division of Lisburn had in her possession medicinal products to which Regulation 214(1) of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 applies with intent to supply it otherwise than in accordance with a prescription of an appropriate practitioner, contrary to Regulation 255(4) of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012. Fined £250.00.
4. On the 26th day of September 2016 in the County Court Division of Lisburn, 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. Fined £250.00.
5. On the 26th day of September 2016 in the County Court Division of Lisburn, 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. Fined £250.00.
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