A Surrey man has been sentenced to a year in prison for dealing a large stash of unlicensed medicines worth over £60,000, the Government’s medicines watchdog has reported.
68-year-old Peppino Fiori, from Bluehouse Lane in Oxted, Surrey, was sentenced to 12 months immediate custody for reoffending at Guildford Crown Court last week for possession with intent to supply unlicensed medicines and class C drugs in the UK, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said yesterday (29 August).
Mr Fiori had already been sentenced to 12 months in jail in 2016 after importing and selling more than 69,000 doses of unlicensed erectile dysfunction, steroid and anti-depressant drugs with a street value of £210,000 from his home address.
According to the MHRA, the ‘persistent peddler’ possessed around 60,640 doses of unlicensed medicines including 2,200 doses of generic Tramadol. The whole lot was estimated to be worth more than £60,000
He coordinated his business from a rental storage unit while on bail despite numerous warnings issued by the MHRA as early as 2013, the watchdog said.
The MHRA argued that Mr Fiori’s illegal activity ‘posed a serious health risk to the public because the medicines are ‘potent’ and could cause ‘serious side effects’.
MHRA’s head of enforcement Alastair Jeffrey said that unlicensed medicines can be ‘dangerous as their contents are unknown and untested’.
He added: ‘Chances are they simply will not work, but they may contain dangerous ingredients. The consequences for your health can be devastating.’
‘Selling medicines outside of the regulated supply chain is a serious criminal offence. These criminals are motivated by greed and have no concern about your safety or welfare.’
According to the MHRA, more than half of all medicines bought online are fake. The Government is currently running a #FakeMeds campaign to warn people against the dangers of buying dangerous or ineffective unlicensed medicines sold by illegal online suppliers.