In 2023, the Federal Office for Customs and Border Security (FOCBS) seized a total of 6,659 illegal medicinal product imports on behalf of Swissmedic, the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products. The most frequent illegal imports of medicinal products continue to be erectile stimulants, followed by sleeping tablets and tranquillisers, hormones (including melatonin), nasal sprays and laxatives. Nearly 3,000 (43%) of the consignments seized came from India. These illegal products are shipped from and manufactured in an ever-changing lineup of countries: regulatory authorities and illegal suppliers have been playing cat and mouse for years.2024-02-08 10:45:19
In 2023, the Federal Office for Customs and Border Security (FOCBS) seized 6,659 illegal medicinal product imports in Switzerland on behalf of Swissmedic. The most common illegal imports of medicinal products were erectile stimulants, followed by sleeping tablets, tranquillisers, hormones, nasal sprays, and laxatives. Nearly 3,000 of the seized consignments (43%) came from India. The countries from which these illegal products are shipped and manufactured change frequently, making it difficult for regulatory authorities to catch illegal suppliers. In 2023, the FOCBS seized fewer illegal consignments compared to the previous year. Many of these illegal medicinal products contain either no active substances or wrongly-declared active substances, and may also contain harmful additives. Swissmedic regularly warns against purchasing medicinal products from dubious sources, including online shops, due to potential health hazards and links to criminal networks. A personal consultation with a qualified professional is necessary for safe use of prescription medications. India was the leading country of origin for the seized consignments in 2023, but the main supplier countries can change quickly. Cooperative partnerships among regulatory authorities, both national and international, are essential for combating illegal trading in medicinal products. Consumers can also help block international criminal networks by avoiding products with enticing names and unrealistic promises. The simplified procedure was used for 90% of the seized illegal consignments, allowing for the seizure and destruction of certain preparations and active ingredients that pose health risks. Swissmedic also pursued administrative proceedings and criminal prosecutions in cases of illegal import of medicinal products. Using medicines obtained from uncontrolled internet channels or social media poses serious health risks as they are often supplied without proper packaging, information, dosage instructions, or information about possible side effects. Only doctors or pharmacists can determine the appropriate use of prescription-only medicinal products..
(Quelle:Swiss Federal Council modified with ChatGPT)
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