9/10 September 2021
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has published a press release about a huge counterfeit case. Fake medicinal products - worth 15.8 million British Pounds - have been seized in the UK. The seizure is the biggest recorded to date in the UK.
The operation called "Pangea VIII" was coordinated by Interpol and has lead to 156 individuals arrested worldwide. The majority of the products seized in UK originated from India, China, Hong Kong and Singapore. The medicines seized cover a wide variety of medicinal products. This shows again the importance of actions against counterfeit medicines. Just recently counterfeit products made their way into the legal supply chain in Germany.
The US FDA also took actions against the counterfeiters in this case. Moreover, even Google participated in the investigation from Interpol against the counterfeiters. This shows the dimension of the problem and the global impact. In the case from Indonesia for example, "authorities uncovered an operation where criminals were altering the expiry date or the amount of the active ingredient on packages of counterfeit, expired and unregistered medicines at the warehouse and returning them to a pharmacy for sale" (as reported by Europol).