Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Thousands given fake drugs by NHS

Thousands of people suffering from life-threatening illnesses could have taken fake drugs handed over pharmacy counters. They were the unwitting victims of a counterfeiting ring which managed to get 70,000 packs of medicine distributed within the NHS.

Although 45,000 packs of drugs were recovered, the remaining 25,000 were handed out to patients. It has proved impossible to trace who was given the drugs, taken for prostate cancer, heart and stroke conditions as well as schizophrenia, and the scandal has led to calls for tighter controls on sale of medicines.

It is thought the drugs were linked to Chinese businessman Kevin Xu, who was jailed last month for six-and-a-half years for his part in an international counterfeiting racket. The drugs were probably bought by British wholesalers from France, where they are often cheaper, before being repackaged in new boxes or given new labelling here.

The problem came to light when one wholesaler noticed discrepancies in the labelling. The counterfeit drugs were thought to contain between 50 and 80 per cent of the correct dosage and could have cut chances of successful treatment.
Source: The Metro


ladythinker said...

Hmmm - not surprised - the world is going to the dogs . . bring back the 'good old days' I'm always saying ....

Mark Wadsworth said...

LT, it's a two-edged sword - we now have all sorts of drugs and treatments that we didn't have in The Good Old Days.