Five people were arrested in the West Midlands today in a joint operation conducted by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and West Midlands Police. A significant quantity of prescription-only and unlicensed medicines were also seized from addresses in the area. These include powerful sleeping pills, strong painkillers and medicines used to treat epilepsy and anxiety which were suspected of being sold through illegally operating websites.

The MHRA investigation continues.

MHRA Head of Enforcement Andy Morling said:

“Buying medicines online from illegally operating websites can be risky.

“The vast majority of medicines supplied from illegally operating websites are not UK authorised medicines and cannot be guaranteed to meet standards of quality, safety and effectiveness.

“In the first instance, you should discuss any health concern with your GP or a registered pharmacist.

“If you think you’ve been offered a medicine illegally or have any information about suspected or known illegal dealings with medicines, please contact us, on 020 3080 6330 (weekdays 9am to 5pm) or out-of-hours on 07795 825 727. Or email us at

“We investigate any report of suspected illegal activity involving medicines and medical devices.”

Notes to editors

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is responsible for regulating medicines and medical devices in the UK. All our work is underpinned by robust and fact-based judgements to ensure that the benefits justify any risks.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (‘the agency’) has three centres. The MHRA, the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) and the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD). The agency is an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care.

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Five arrested following seizure of prescription-only and unlicensed medicines in the West Midlands

by Editor time to read: 1 min