In a bid to tackle the issue of duplicate or fake medicines entering the UK, the Medicines and Healthcare (products) Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which is responsible for making sure all medical drugs and devices are safe for use in the UK, confiscated 3.5 million erectile dysfunction pills in 2019. The majority of these, some 96 percent, were reportedly exported from India.
The cost of the seized medicine is estimated at being around a hefty $12.86 million (£10 million).
In light of their findings, the MHRA has warned people that buying medical drugs online could expose them to the risk of consuming fake or even harmful medication.
“Fake erectile dysfunction medicines can be a real let down – you might not get the result you want, or you might feel unwell", the MHRA has said.
The healthcare regulator launched an initiative called #FakeMeds back in 2016 to monitor and tackle the issue of fake medication circulating on online marketplaces.
As part of the initiative, MHRA has highlighted that people purchasing drugs online must beware of dodgy websites, check for authorised suppliers, return products delivered in shabby packaging, and avoid suspicious links.
According to the #FakeMeds campaign's findings, one in every 10 persons in the UK purchased duplicate medical products from the web in 2019.
At present, it remains unknown which brands of erectile dysfunction pills were being exported to the UK from India. It is also unclear as to how many of the exported pills that reached Britain were fake and how many were actually consumable.