More than 60,000 units of illegal prescription medicines seized in Ireland

Interpol's coordinated Operation Pangea IX has led to the seizure of over $48 million worth of medicine globally

More than 60,000 units of illegal prescription medicines seized in Ireland

Image: HPRA

More than 60,000 units of illegal prescription medicines have been seized in Ireland as part of a worldwide operation.

The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) - who were assisted by Revenue and gardaí - say the drugs detained here included anabolic steroids, painkillers, illegal tanning products and weight loss products.

The products are said to have mainly originated in India, USA, UK, Romania, Switzerland, Singapore and Poland.

The medicines seized are worth an estimated €350,000.

Eight search warrants were executed, leading to two arrests. 67 websites - and three advertisements on separate websites in Ireland - were investigated.

The Irish operation came as part of Interpol's coordinated Operation Pangea IX.

Globally, 11.1 million units of medicine have been seized - worth over $48 million (€42 million). There were 318 arrests worldwide, while almost 5,000 illegal websites were shut down.

Lorraine Nolan, Chief Executive of the HPRA said: “It’s important for the public to realise that falsified medicines and medical devices pose a very significant risk to their health. From tests on some products detained in recent years, many of these medicines contain too much or too little or no active ingredient at all – there are simply no guarantees as to what is contained in the products".

You can find a list of the medicines seized in Ireland below:

  • Anabolic Steroids: 33,000 units
  • Sedatives: 6,500 units
  • Analgesics (painkillers): 1,600 units
  • Erectile Dysfunction: 9,000 units
  • Slimming: Weight loss (Sibutramine) 1,200 units
  • Other: 8,000 units, including -
  • Stimulants:1,300 units
  • Corticosteroids: 1,000 units
  • Antibiotics: 970 units
  • Melanotan II:230 vials
  • Misoprostol & Mifepristone: 78 units
  • Botulinum Toxin: 80 vials