Three types of medicine have been recalled from circulation after thousands of fake drugs entered the UK supply chain, according to reports.
The Medicines Health products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) issued its highest alert for the first time in the UK after discrepancies were noticed in packaging of stock bought elsewhere in Europe.
Casodex (bicalutamide), used to treat prostate cancer; strokes and heart medicine Plavix (clopidogrel); and schizophrenia drug Zyprexa (olanzapine) had to be removed from stores and warehouses across the UK after the Class One recalls in 2007.
According to the BBC, an MHRA official said that 30,000 batches of drugs were still unaccounted for and could have been consumed by the public.
Head of enforcement at MHRA Mick Deats told BBC’s File On 4 programme: “It’s not something done lightly, in fact it was the first time Class One recalls were ever carried out in the UK.
“On all of the recalls in 2007, the meds involved had between 50% and 80% of the correct pharmaceutical ingredient in them.”
He said it was extremely rare to see counterfeit medicines in the regulated supply chain, but that fact would be no consolation to those who may have taken the drugs.
Copyright Press Association 2009