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Ipswich: Dan Poulter MP talks of dangers of buying internet drugs

06:00 27 January 2014

Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

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A Suffolk MP and junior health minister has warned of the dangers of buying medicines on the internet after counterfeit erectile dysfunction drugs were seized in a raid.

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Officers from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) went to an undisclosed property in Ipswich where an amount of counterfeit medicine was found.

A number of investigation officers, led by head of operations Danny Lee-Frost, carried out the Operation Clumber raid which began at around 9.30am on Friday.

They were helped by Suffolk Constabulary, which confirmed that two of its officers had gone to the address.

A spokesman for MHRA said: “A 28-year-old man from Ipswich was arrested on suspicion of selling counterfeit medicine. This is an ongoing operation.”

The operation is also understood to be looking at the possible selling of abortion medicines. The man has now been bailed as the investigation continues.

Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, said: “The warning here is not to buy off the internet things which are purported to be medicines; you do not necessarily know what you are buying.

“That’s why the MHRA is there to take appropriate action.

“The main thing is to reassure the public of the quality of drugs prescribed by doctors is of a high quality.”

He said if drugs were not properly licensed and produced there was a risk the medicines could contain harmful ingredients.

Mr Lee-Frost, commenting on counterfeit abortion drugs, said: “These are not the sort of thing a 14-year-old girl should be using when she is six months pregnant and too frightened to tell mum and dad or see a doctor.

“But after a pregnancy test from a chemist they don’t want to tell anyone. They look at options online and buy this stuff. Then it can go horribly wrong.

“The abortion pills can prove fatal. Thankfully we haven’t seen reports of such a death in the UK yet – but the evidence is growing overseas in places like China and the US.”

Black-market tablets like abortion pills can cost as little as 78p.

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