Following a two-year investigation by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), two men were sentenced to a total of 24 months imprisonment last month. Aziz Ahmed of Hounslow received a custodial sentence of 18 months for conspiracy to supply counterfeit medicines. He also received a custodial sentence of nine months for possession of class C drugs with intent to supply.
Benjamin Newsome of Doncaster received a six month custodial sentence for conspiring to supply counterfeit medicines. He also received one month for possession of the class B drug Methylphenidate and conspiring to supply an unlicensed erectile dysfunction drug.
All of these sentences are to run concurrently.
The MHRA investigation uncovered the sale of large quantities of counterfeit medicines and controlled drugs. From May 2009 to June 2010 MHRA intelligence officers made large numbers of online test purchases of a myriad of medicines including counterfeit Cialis, Viagra and a variety of controlled substances. The investigation culminated in raids which saw a haul of approximately 99,220 tablets that had been sourced through international suppliers in Pakistan.
MHRA head of enforcement Nimo Ahmed, said: “The MHRA will act against those who compromise public health in the pursuit of profit. The danger of purchasing medicines online is that you just don’t know what you are taking. Those involved in these types of dealings do not care about your health. They are only in it for one reason, and that is to make money.”