Two men have been given suspended prison sentences and ordered to do community work for importing and selling unlicensed and counterfeit erectile dysfunction medicines. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) started its investigation in September 2011 following the UK Border Force’s seizure of Kamagra tablets, an unlicensed generic version of Viagra which is manufactured in India. Further seizures of Kamagra were made between September 2011 and January 2012. Counterfeit versions of the licensed erectile dysfunction medicines Cialis and Levitra were also seized. More than 13,000 tablets in total were confiscated. The defendants were estimated to have netted over £600,000 in sales.
Loughborough man Ryoma Ninomiya was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to 140 hours of unpaid community service. Alif Shahadaht Ahmed, also of Loughborough, was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to 200 hours of community service.
Nimo Ahmed, MHRA’s acting head of enforcement, commented: “This case shows that people risk damaging their health if they buy medicines from unauthorised sources. People should speak to their GP or pharmacist who can give them good clinical advice about what medicines are best for them. The MHRA is committed to pursuing those involved in the illicit supply of medicines and taking action to ensure the public is protected. These individuals were involved in a concerted conspiracy to supply counterfeit and unlicensed medicine and showed a blatant disregard for public health.”