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Published on 6 April 2011

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Jury deliberates in fake drug case

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The trial of five businessmen accused of being involved in an elaborate fake medicine scam has resumed with the jury considering its verdict.

It is alleged that the men are embroiled in a large operation to import counterfeit prescription drugs for prostate cancer, heart disease and schizophrenia from China to the UK with the intention of trying to pass off the products as genuine.

Prosecutors at Croydon Crown Court said that by mimicking authentic medicines, they illegally infiltrated the highly regulated system designed to protect the public and pharmaceutical industry.

The prescription medication included Zyprexa, which is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder; Casodex, an advanced prostate cancer treatment; and Plavix, which is prescribed to treat ischemic heart disease.

Andrew Marshall, prosecuting, said patients had been “put at risk” by their alleged fraud.

He told the jury: “This case is considered to represent the most serious breach of the medicine control regime – it’s the most serious breach that has happened in the EU.

“It has had far-reaching effects for the pharmaceutical industry, control mechanisms, patients and the confidence of the public.”

The case arose from a massive investigation by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, which oversees the industry in the UK.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

MHRA



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