Irish Medicines Board secures criminal convictions
During April and May 2012 the Irish Medicines Board (IMB) was involved in successful court cases.
In April, the District Court heard allegations concerning the keeping for supply of unauthorised and prescription-only medicines. An IMB investigation found illegal medicines, containing active ingredients for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, on commercial premises. The corporate defendant was convicted and fined €1,000.00 and the individual involved was given the benefit of the Probation Act but ordered to pay €2,550.00 towards the costs of analysing the products.
In May two more serious cases can before the Circuit Criminal Court.
In the first case a company director was given a three year prison sentence for the illegal importation and supply of unauthorised medicinal products. The products were later sold as ‘herbal viagra’ for erectile dysfunction. A linked company was fined €150,000.00.
In the second case an individual pleaded guilty to the unauthorised manufacture of a medicinal product. He was sentenced to four years in prison to be suspended for good behaviour.
The cases show that the IMB works with other regulators such as Customs and An Garda Síochána to investigate and pursue cases involving breaches of medicinal products legislation. They also show that the courts take these matters very seriously because it can be extremely difficult to verify the origin and safety of illegal medicines which in turn has very serious consequences for public health.
Anyone involved in the manufacture and supply of medicinal products must be aware of the rules and regulations that apply to their activities and must also fully understand that the consequences of non-compliance can be severe.