News Thursday April 19, 2012

Government seized 8.5 million fake Viagra pills last year

UK Border Agency officials seized 8.5 million counterfeit Viagra tablets last year, it has emerged.

The total value of the medications was around £13 million. Most of the pills, which were destined for the black market, were found in freight deliveries at London Heathrow Airport. Others were discovered in postal hubs; they had been ordered online by British customers.

According to Associated Press, Brodie Clark, who is the head of the UKBA's border force, said: "This massive haul makes it clear just how seriously we take the smuggling of fake and unlicensed medicines." The original genuine version of Viagra is available but only on prescription in the UK.

"As well as stopping drugs, weapons and illegal immigrants from reaching the UK, our officers have a vital role to play in protecting British consumers and businesses from the trade in black market medicines and other goods."

Clark said that smugglers' sole intention is to make a profit. She added that the goods they deal in are often dangerous, and that profits made from them may be used to fuel organised crime.

Selling counterfeit Viagra, Cialis and Levitra can be more lucrative for criminals than selling illegal drugs. Fake erectile dysfunction medications are usually sold online. The World Health Organisation estimates that around half the drugs sold from websites that have no physical contact address are illegal. Always make sure that pharmaceutical websites are legitimate and approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA).

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