The Irish medicines Board (IMB) detained almost double the quantity of counterfeit and illegal medicines in 2010 as it did in 2009 with a 500% increase in the quantity of illegal weight loss products many of which contained the dangerous drug sibutramine which can cause heart attack and stroke.
IMB said there was a 66% increase in the quantity of illegal medicine products including steroids, sedatives, weight loss and erectile dysfunction drugs topping the ranks. All told, they confiscated 822,484 units of counterfeit and illegal medicines in 2010 in compared to 494,502 units in 2009, reports the Irish Times.
Chief Executive Pat O’Mahony said there was “absolutely no way for people to establish whether medicines available on the internet contain what they claim to or if they are in any way effective in treating the illness or condition in question”.
He also said, “At best people are wasting their money but more seriously; at worst counterfeit and illegal medicines can pose a serious health risk. The supply of prescription only medicines via the internet is illegal and no online pharmacy is authorized to operate in Ireland.”