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Media and Political Bulletin – 23 July 2020

Media and Political Bulletin

23 July 2020

Media Summary

Coronavirus: Warning over illegally imported fake medicine

BBC News, 22 July 2020

BBC News reports that Northern Ireland’s Health Minister Robin Swann has warned people about the dangers of taking illegal medications which claim to treat coronavirus.

Mr Swann said the Department of Health’s medicines regulatory group was made aware that unlicensed anti-viral drugs had been illegally imported into the country. The unauthorised drugs have not undergone regulatory approvals, which are required in the UK.

Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland Dr Michael McBride said the risk to the public due to unlicensed medicines was “significant”. He warned against sourcing medicines from anywhere other than a registered pharmacy.

Parliamentary Coverage

There is no parliamentary coverage to report today.

Full Coverage

Coronavirus: Warning over illegally imported fake medicine

BBC News, 22 July 2020

Robin Swann has warned people about the dangers of taking illegal medications which claim to treat coronavirus.

The health minister said he had been made aware of unlicensed anti-viral drugs being illegally imported into Northern Ireland.

The unauthorised drugs have not undergone regulatory approvals, which are required in the UK.

“I urge the public not to be fooled by online offers for medical products,” Mr Swann said.

No further coronavirus-related deaths were recorded by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland on Wednesday, but there were nine new cases of the virus.

Mr Swann said the Department of Health’s medicines regulatory group was made aware that unlicensed anti-viral drugs had been illegally imported into the country.

“This fake medicine claims to be for the treatment of Covid-19,” he said.

“Some of these so called medicines could potentially do more harm than the virus.

“Be in no doubt, medicines sourced in this way present a real danger to those taking them.”

The minister said the problem was not something “we can tackle in isolation” and that his department would continue to work with other agencies to disrupt the supply of the illegal medicines.

‘Be vigilant’

Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride said the risk to the public due to unlicensed medicines was “significant”.

Dr McBride said people should only take prescription medicines after an appropriate consultation with their GP or other healthcare professionals.

He warned against sourcing medicines from anywhere other than a registered pharmacy.

Dr McBride urged the public to “be vigilant” and “avoid putting their health at risk by using medication from an unknown source”.

Media and Political Bulletin – 23 July 2020

From Factory to Pharmacy

As part of our mission to build awareness, understanding and appreciation of the vital importance of the healthcare distribution sector, we developed an infographic explaining the availability of medicines. It identifies the factors that can impact drug supply, as well as the measures that HDA members undertake day in, day out to help mitigate the risks of patients not receiving their medicines.

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