UK, Indian Agencies Join Hands to Curb International Medicines Crime

UK’s MHRA to work closely with India’s DRI to prevent unlicensed medicines from entering the UK.


British health regulator and Indian intelligence agency have come together to prevent unlicensed medicines from entering the UK market.

In a statement released Oct. 10, the British High Commission in India called this collaboration an example of coordinated efforts to tackle global medicines crime. It said that co-operation based on rapid mutual intelligence-sharing will assist in combating illegal cross-border trade in medicines.

Following a meeting in Delhi earlier this month, Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare Products and Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will send intelligence to India’s Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), enabling them to target regions suspected of sending unlicensed medicines into the UK, according to the statement.

Both the UK and India have a longstanding relationship when it comes to collaborating around the issue of medicines. In 2015 both countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), further increasing collaboration in the area of medicines and medical devices and improving public safety.

Alastair Jeffrey, MHRA’s Head of Enforcement said, “Our active collaboration with Indian Government agencies sends a strong message to criminals; when we work with our global partners we are able to disrupt criminal activity through the identification, arrest and prosecution of offenders wherever they are.”

“We are working tirelessly to identify all those involved in bringing unlicensed medicines into the UK. Our collaborative efforts with key partners like India will help protect the health of UK citizens,” he added.

Vivek Chaturvedi, DRI’s Additional Director General said, “Indian Customs is committed to detecting and preventing illegal cross border trade in medicines and psychotropic substances. DRI being the apex intelligence and investigative agency has successfully booked a number of cases, carried out seizures and arrested offenders in recent past.”

Terming MHRA as an important partner in reducing illegal medicines trade, he said that DRI has been working closely with international law enforcement agencies and regulators.

“Such collaboration is mutually beneficial to both countries in protecting the health of their citizens and in prosecuting the criminals involved in such offences,” he said.

MHRA regulates all medicines and medical devices sold or manufactured in the UK and ensures that they are safe to use.

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