On April 8, 2011, Peter Gillespie, 64, of Windsor, Berkshire, was found guilty at Croydon Crown Court for what the MHRA refers to a “the most serious known breach of counterfeit medicine in the regulated supply chain.” Gillespie was accused of infiltrating the legitimate UK supply chain with counterfeit medications imported from Asia. He was sentenced to eight years. Gillespie was convicted of importing over 2 million fake doses of drugs to treat serious ailments such as heart disease, cancer and psychiatric treatments into the UK. More than half the drugs were seized by MHRA, however 900,000 doses reached pharmacies and patients, with more than 700,000 of doses out in the field unaccounted for.
Who: United Kingdom’s Medicines Healthcare Regulatory Agency(MHRA), North West Regional Asset Recovery Team (NW RART).
When: April 8, 2011, January 2006-June 2007.
Where: London, United Kingdom
How: MHRA Investigation.
Additional details: In an update released July 5, 2013, the MHRA reports that their financial investigators from NW RART have tracked down the money that Gillespie had earned in his illegal fake drug scheme. Gillespie had till this point refused to provide any information concerning his profits from the enterprise. As a result of the NW RART investigation, the Crown Court is now requiring the Gillespie forfeit over $8 million U.S. else he will be required to serve an additional 8 years in jail.
“ Press release: Four-month trial concludes of Operation Singapore – the most serious known breach of counterfeit medicine in the regulated supply chain,” MHRA Press Release. April 8, 2011.
“ Man jailed for £4.7m counterfeit medicine fraud,”BBC. April 8, 2011.
“ Five in court over ‘EU’s most serious fake medicine scam’,”The Independent. December 6, 2010.
“Press release: Counterfeit drug peddler has £5,599,003.78 confiscated,”MHRA Press Release. July 5, 2013.