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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 September 2006, 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
'Unlicensed' drug websites raided
Image of pills
Some drugs bought online can be fake
A number of unlicensed internet sites allegedly selling prescription-only medicines illegally in the UK have been shut down following morning raids.

Computer equipment and documents were seized in the raids by government agency the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Sites allegedly selling steroids and sleeping pills were targeted.

The raids were at premises in Greater London, Middlesex, Colchester, Canterbury, Preston and Hereford.

Last month, doctors warned in the Lancet that people who buy medicines over the internet could be unwittingly putting their health at risk.

Patients are advised that they should only take prescription-only medicines after an appropriate consultation with their healthcare professional
MHRA

Some drugs are fake and contain ingredients bearing little resemblance to the medicine named on the bottle, it was reported.

And even if patients get the right drug, there is a risk of unchecked side effects and dangerous interactions.

"Tackling the illegal sale and supply of medicines over the internet is a priority for us," an MHRA spokesman said at the time.

"The MHRA is currently investigating 117 internet-related cases where medicines legislation has been potentially breached.

"Some of these investigations have already resulted in successful prosecutions.

"Patients are advised that they should only take prescription-only medicines after an appropriate consultation with their healthcare professional whose role it is to take into account associated risks and benefits."




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