MHRA investigation results in guilty pleas for supplying unlicensed, and potentially dangerous, medicinal products.
Gediminas and Vytautas Staskevicius appeared in the Oxford Crown Court charged with offences under Trade Mark, Misuse of Drugs and medicines regulatory legislation. The two men were set to go on trial for charges relating to offences in between May and July 2015. But, before the trial could begin, the two men pleaded guilty to all charges.
Gediminas has been sentenced to 16 months imprisonment, suspended for 2 years. Gediminas must also complete 120 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,500 in costs. Vytautas has been sentenced to 8 months imprisonment, suspended for 2 years. Vytautas is also subject to a curfew between the hours of 9pm and 7am, lasting for two months.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) began investigating Gediminas Staskevicius in May 2015. We received information that suspected illegal medicines were delivered to Gediminas’ address. In addition, an unknown person used a post office near Gediminas’ home to post counterfeit medicines to various international destinations.
In July 2015, enforcement officers from the MHRA entered the men’s residence, and storage units hired in their names. The officers found almost 470,000 tablets of unlicensed erectile dysfunction medication, counterfeit medicines and the class C controlled drug Tramadol. The officers also found over £6000 in cash and electronic records of medicines trading including customer details.
Selling medicines which are unlicensed, controlled or counterfeit is not only illegal but also poses a serious health risk to the public. The medicines sold illegally by these men are potent and can cause serious side effects.
We are currently running our #FakeMeds campaign to raise awareness of the risks of buying fake medical products online, and to encourage people to buy medicines and medical devices safely.
Alastair Jeffery, Head of Enforcement for MHRA, said:
Fake and unlicensed medicines pose a serious health threat.
There is no way of knowing whether they are acceptably safe. There are also no guarantees as to what unlicensed medicines contain; there may be impurities or incorrect ingredients which affect their safety and performance.
We will continue to target criminals supplying illegal medical products and raise awareness of the harm fake medicines cause.
You can avoid risking your health, and wasting money, by buying licensed medicines from legitimate high street or online retailers.
- MHRA is responsible for regulating all medicines and medical devices in the UK. Our work is underpinned by robust and fact-based judgments to ensure that the benefits justify any risks. MHRA is a centre of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency which also includes the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) and the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD). The Agency is an executive agency of the Department of Health. www.mhra.gov.uk
- Check whether a website can sell medicines online by searching our registry.
- Online retailers displaying the distance selling logo are registered with the MHRA to supply legitimate medicines.
- Follow #FakeMeds on Twitter