Thursday, December 9, 2010

Court Told of Multi-Million Pound Medicines Scam

“This is considered the most serious breach of medicine control, the importation of counterfeit medicines into the system,”

The Tuesday, December 7th edition of the Bath Chronicle reports on the court case of five accused of a multi-million pound pharmaceutical plot involving bogus Chinese-manufactured life-saving drugs.

According to the Bath Chronicle story:

• A jury was told the people behind Europe’s biggest ever scam of its kind were motivated by “pure greed.”

• The court was told that as a result of the scam, medicine watchdogs ordered a recall of all suspected drugs – taken by heart and cancer patients and people with mental health problems – resulting in shelves being cleared in pharmacies all over the country.

• “They were prepared to make profits by feeding duff drugs to people with serious illnesses, prostrate cancer, heart disease and psychiatric issues,” prosecutor Andrew Marshall told Croydon Crown Court.

• All five have pleaded not guilty to conspiring between January 1, 2006 and June 30, 2007 together and with others to defraud pharmaceutical wholesalers, pharmacists, the public and holders of intellectual property rights in pharmaceuticals by dishonestly distributing for gain counterfeit medicines.

• Charges were brought following a two-year investigation by the Medicines and Health Care Products Regulatory Agency, part of the Department of Health, into Consolidated Medical Supplies Ltd.

• The company, of Unit 14, Sherrington Way, Lister Road, Industrial Estate, Basingstoke, had its wholesale dealer’s licence revoked by the agency on January 8, 2008.

• “This is considered the most serious breach of medicine control, the importation of counterfeit medicines into the system,” Mr Marshall told the jury.

• “The most serious in the European Union, with far-reaching effects for pharmaceutical companies, patients and the confidence of the general public.

• “The purpose is just greed. To obtain the profits of buying illegal goods cheaply.”

• The charges relate to ‘Casodex‘, used to treat advanced prostate cancer, ‘Plavix‘, a drug prescribed to prevent blood clots and prevent heart attacks for angina patients and ‘Zyprexa’ a anti-psychotic drug prescribed to schizophrenic and bipolar patients.

• “They are just importing danger,” Mr Marshall told the jury. “The drugs imported are not extensively and expensively tested, but instead have been smuggled into the EU and distributed regardless of their chemical qualities.”

• The drugs were said to be manufactured by a notorious Chinese pharmaceutical counterfeiter currently serving a prison sentence for a similar scam in the United States.

• “No one pretended these were cheap counterfeits, they were pretended to be real. These men are not a charity importing cheaper drugs, it is I am afraid, pure greed in order to make money, working totally outside the system.

Hopefully the pharmaceutical supply chain and consumers will use this story to educate themselves about the danger that counterfeit drugs pose, even in sophisticated health care delivery systems within developed nations.

There are bad guys everywhere that realize that huge profits with little risk are involved in the sale of bogus medications.

Secure Pharma Chain encourages all within the regulatory and supply chain to take measures to protect their constituents from fraudulent, adulterated, sub-standard and counterfeit medications.

To read the Bath Chronicle article, visit:

To learn more about anti-counterfeiting technologies, visit:

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