Illegal medicines seized from Polish stores

INSPECTORS have seized medicines illegally on sale at six Polish convenience stores in Yorkshire.

Painkillers aspirin and ibuprofen and children's cough medicine

labelled in Polish were among the items confiscated at the six businesses in the Hull area.

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Enforcement officers from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency visited the stores following a tip-off from trading standards chiefs over the suspected sale of unlicensed medicines.

Any medicines which are not labelled in English are unlicensed and cannot be sold in the UK but the officers uncovered stocks of medicines which were all labelled in Polish.

One of the shops visited had been previously warned by the MHRA and had been ordered to remove all of its unlicensed medicines from sale. But the store was still selling Polish-labelled medicines, leading officers to seize approximately 1,000-worth of stock. The agency is now considering further enforcement action.

The remaining shops had all of their stocks of unlicensed medicines removed and formal warnings were issued.

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The regulator's head of operations Danny Lee-Frost said the medicines posed a potential risk to patients. "Polish medicines imported into the UK and sold in Polish packs have not been approved for sale in the UK and are regarded as unlicensed medicines. Medicines on sale in the UK are required to be labelled in English," he said. "Unlicensed medicines present potential risks to patients as there is no assurance they have been tested to required standards of safety and quality in the UK."

Medicines which are not imported into the UK through an approved supply chain cannot be recalled if faulty, while all medicines must also have key details of the drugs in English and a patient information leaflet written in English.