Suspended sentences for illegal online POM medicines sales


A man and a woman who sold breast cancer and erectile dysfunction medicines illegally online appeared at Birmingham Crown Court.


MHRA investigators along with officers from West Midlands Police, executed a number of search warrants in March 2017, seizing initially nearly 27,000 tablets and vials with a street value of more than £21,000.


Egle Bunkute, 31, originally from Lithuania was sentenced to 14 months’ custody suspended for two years and ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work in the community.


Edvinas Ivanauskas, 26, also from Lithuania was sentenced to 44 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for two years and ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work.


The sentencing on Friday 3 April followed a three-year investigation by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) into the illegal sale of medicines through their website.


The medicines were sent illegally to addresses in the UK, EU, the USA, Canada and Australia. The postage costs for posting these medicines was in excess of £105,000.


The business at the centre of the illegal supply of medicines was operated through a website known as “rx cart”. It was shut down in 2017 by the MHRA.


The pair were selling Tadafil used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, Prolox and Dapoxetine (premature ejaculation treatments) and Nolvadex/Tamoxifen which are used to treat breast cancer. Egle Bunkute was also sentenced for offering to supply Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin, a growth hormone and class C controlled drug.


Tariq Sarwar, Acting Head of MHRA Enforcement Group said:


“It is a serious criminal offence to sell prescription-only medicines without a prescription and to sell unlicensed medicines, we will continue to work relentlessly with regulatory and law enforcement colleagues to identify and prosecute those involved.


“Those who sell medicines illegally are exploiting vulnerable people and have no regard for their health. Prescription-only medicines can be extremely strong and should only be taken under medical supervision as they may have potentially dangerous side effects”


“Criminals selling medicines illegally show a blatant disregard for your health, and only care about making money.”


This article is being shared under the Open Government Copyright licence.



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