Pangea III Impacts Irish Online Drug Sellers

Ireland a significant player in INTERPOL's recent fake drug bust, Pangea III.

According to the Irish Times, a co-ordinated Interpol operation targeting the sale of counterfeit and illegal drugs from online pharmacies netted the phony medicines. The Irish Medicines Board (IMB), the Revenue Commissioners’ Customs Service and Irish police were also involved in the operation, reports the news source.

The action, termed Pangea III, saw the seizure of 262,000 tablets and capsules of counterfeit drugs worth an estimated €500,000.

The Ireland portion of the police action involved the investigation of five online pharmacies that were allegedly selling counterfeit drugs. The news provider reports that none of these websites have been shut down yet since the complete national investigation is still ongoing.

IMB chief executive Pat O’Mahony told the Times that counterfeit drugs and the illegal online pharmacies that peddle them are a serious risk to the public health.

“These websites can appear professional and genuine. The reality is they are an elaborate and potentially dangerous deception. You have no way of knowing what these medicines really contain, where they were made or the effect they might have on your health," O’Mahony said.

O'Mahony added that his and other agencies keep an eye on such businesses to ensure that they aren't doing anything illegal or a something that would put citizens at risk.

“The IMB, in conjunction the Revenue’s Customs Service and An Garda Síochána, continually monitors and investigates instances of illegal supply of medicinal products via the internet and we actively enforce suspected breaches of the law," he told the news provider.

According to the Times, the types of drugs that were seized in the operation included drugs that treat erectile dysfunction, weight loss, hormones and steroid products, antibiotics, pain killers, anti-depressants, cardiac medication, anti-cholesterol, stimulants/amphetamines, cancer medication and insulin.