News about GMP/cGMP

12.03.2021

Swissmedic: Data on imports of illegal medicinal products via the internet

Swissmedic: Data on imports of illegal medicinal products via the internet

On 4 March 2021, Swissmedic announced the numbers on medicinal products illegally imported into Switzerland. In 2020, 6733 illegal imports were recorded. Compared to the previous year, the number has decreased only slightly.  Among the countries of origin, Singapore has replaced India, which has long been in the lead. It was followed by Western European countries such as the UK and Germany in particular.

Singapore is increasingly being used as a hub by suppliers of illegal medicinal products.


Which falsified medicinal products represent the majority?

Erectile stimulants continue to top the list, followed by other prescriptive medicinal products as well as sleeping pills and tranquilizers such as Xanax and Valium.

Swissmedic also warns against supposedly herbal products that, however, contain undeclared chemical active ingredients. They are advertised, especially in social media, as "herbal" and "natural" products for potency enhancement or for weight loss. Delivery often comes without a patient information leaflet or cardboard packaging.

A suspicion of an illegal drug should be reported to Swissmedic via the Medicrime contact form.

Successes in the fight against falsified medicinal products

In October 2020, German customs and the Bavarian Cybercrime Central Office succeeded in smashing a global network of illegally operating dealers in the "Hydra" investigation complex. Two people were arrested in the process. The international investigation lasted almost two years. The falsified preparations were assembled in a warehouse in Singapore, shipped by mail and sent by air freight.


Sources:

Swissmedic: Illegal imports of medicinal products in 2020: medicines from the internet are still in demand

Attorney General's Office Bamberg: Zoll und ZCB zerschlagen im Ermittlungskomplex „Hydra“ weltweites Netzwerk von Händlern illegaler und nicht zugelassener Arzneimittel – Zwei Haftbefehle vollstreckt (in German)


 

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