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Unlicensed Medicines

The use of the internet to purchase unlicensed medicines continues to be a cause for concern for the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA). In general, with medicines purchased online there is no guarantee that the products are genuine. They may not contain the correct active ingredient or may even contain dangerous or toxic substances.

The State Laboratory assists the HPRA to control the use of unlicensed medicines by analysing seized pharmaceutical and herbal products for the presence of pharmaceutically active compounds.

The use of veterinary drugs and growth promoting substances in the rearing of animals for human consumption is also strictly controlled by EU legislation which regulates the availability, possession and use of all animal remedies. Samples of counterfeit and illegal veterinary drugs and growth promoters, submitted by DAFM Special Investigations Unit, are analysed for a wide range of active ingredients such as steroids, antibiotics and anti-inflammatories.

Due to the diverse range of drugs tested for in this area, the laboratory has obtained a "flexible scope" of accreditation to ISO 17025 which means that all results reported are accredited once the appropriate method development and validation procedures are followed when new methods of analysis are introduced.

Much of this analysis is used for litigation purposes and State Laboratory staff provide expert testimony in subsequent court prosecutions taken by the HPRA and DAFM.

Contact Details of Health Products Regulatory Authority

Earlsfort Centre
Block A
Earlsfort Terrace

Phone: +353 (0)1 676 4971
Fax: +353 (0)1 676 7836
Website: hpra.ie

Agriculture & Food
Customs & Excise
Coroner's Service
Unlicensed Medicines
Regulation Of Lobbying

Contact Us:

  Monday - Friday: 9am-5pm

  Backweston Laboratory Campus
     Co. Kildare
     W23 VW2C

  +353 (0)1 505 7000

  +353 (0)1 505 7070


Useful Links:

Public Jobs Site
Irish Jobs Site
Coroner Service
Privacy and Cookies Policy
Re-Use of Public Sector Information
Irish Government Website

Chemistry Related Links:

AOAC International
Codex Alimentarius

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