Indian, UK agencies to clamp down on international medicines crime


New Delhi, In an effort to prevent unlicensed medicines entering the United Kingdom (UK) market, UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is working closely with law enforcement agencies in India. MHRA will send intelligence to Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), enabling them to target regions suspected of sending unlicensed medicines into the UK, the British High Commission said in a statement on Friday. In this regard, a high-level meeting was held in New Delhi in the beginning of this month. MHRA’s Head of Enforcement, Alastair Jeffrey 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.' 'Our collaborative efforts with key partners like India will help protect the health of UK citizens,' he added. In 2015, both countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for increasing collaboration in the area of medicines and medical devices and improving public safety. DRI Additional Director General Vivek Chaturvedi 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.' 'DRI works closely with international law enforcement agencies and regulators and MHRA is an important partner in tackling the menace of trade in illegal medicines,' he added. The MHRA is responsible for regulating all medicines and medical devices in the UK by ensuring they work and are acceptably safe.