The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) today noted Judge John O’Neill’s ruling at Dublin District Court in the case brought against Robert Burke and Liam Pacelli. Both Mr Burke and Mr Pacelli were charged with offences relating to the sale of unauthorised and prescription only medicines, without prescriptions, and pharmacy confined medicines from a market stall at Balbriggan market on 04 May 2014. Both defendants had previously pleaded guilty to five charges each before Judge O’Neill earlier this year. The medicines were detained by Gardai from Santry Station and this case was taken by the HPRA working in conjunction with An Garda Síochána.
The prescription only medicines concerned included Warfarin, Lyrica, Donecept, Cymbalta, Epanutin and Epilim. Mr Burke and Mr Pacelli were in possession of a total of 5,000 tablets, capsules and suppositories comprised of 436 packs and 158 different medicines.
Probation reports on Robert Burke and Liam Pacelli were evaluated by Judge O’Neill at the sentencing hearing. Robert Burke was given 200 hours community service, in lieu of three months’ imprisonment, and was ordered to pay €2,025 to the HPRA towards the costs of analysis and destruction. Liam Pacelli was given the benefit of the Probation Act and ordered to pay €2,025 to the HPRA towards the costs of analysis and destruction. The Court also accepted €1,000 in cash from Mr Pacelli as a donation to Pieta House.
According to John Lynch, Director of Compliance, HPRA, “In this case, a number of potent prescription medicines were on sale that could pose a serious risk to the health of anyone taking them without medical supervision. We continue to warn the public not to buy medicines from unregulated sources. There is no way for consumers to know what substances such products actually contain and consequently they can pose a serious risk to your health. We strongly advise that you should only take prescription medicines when prescribed by your doctor and dispensed in a pharmacy”.
The HPRA, in conjunction with An Garda Síochána and the Revenue’s Customs Service, continually monitors and investigates instances of illegal supply of medicines and actively enforces against suspected breaches of the law.
Notes to Editor:
- Warfarin is indicated for prevention and treatment of blood clots in veins and arteries
- Lyrica is indicated for the treatment of anxiety, epilepsy and neuropathic pain
- Donecept is indicated for the treatment of dementia associated with Alzheimer’s disease
- Cymbalta is indicated for the treatment of anxiety, depression and neuropathic pain
- Epanutin is indicated for the treatment of epilepsy
- Epilim is indicated for the treatment of epilepsy and mania
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
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Orla Molloy / Barry Ryan 087 770 5108 / 085 728 7326
ABOUT THE HEALTH PRODUCTS REGULATORY AUTHORITY
The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) protects and enhances public health and animal health by regulating medicines, medical devices and other health products. The products under its remit include human and veterinary medicines, medical devices, blood and blood components, tissues and cells, organs for transplantation and cosmetics. Formerly known as the Irish Medicines Board (IMB), it became the Health Products Regulatory Authority on 1 July 2014.