German Prosecutors Find Suspect Drugs in Supply Chain

Germany is investigating dozens of pharmacies in the north of the country for suspected involvement in the distribution of illegal medicines, including counterfeits, reports

Prosecutors have brought charges against one pharmacist from the Braunschweig region who is accused of handling €1.68m-worth. Pharmacies in Hamburg, Celle, Verden and Kiel are also being probed, reports the German business magazine Markt, which notes that the counterfeit goods being traded included not only lifestyle medicines such as impotency drugs and bodybuilding products, but also painkillers, antibiotics and cancer treatments.

Among the practices alleged to have been carried out by the pharmacists is mixing of illegally-acquired medicines with legitimate, genuine product.

Last year, Germany suffered other high-profile cases in which counterfeit versions of HIV treatment medications were discovered in the legal supply chain, in Bremen and on the island of Sylt in northern Germany.

Both cases forced the manufacturer to conduct product recalls in the interests of patient safety. On further analysis it was discovered that the tablets in the fakes were actually genuine although the primary and secondary packaging and labeling was all counterfeit.