24 May 2014

Medicines seized in border sting

8:09 am on 24 May 2014

A joint Customs and Medsafe operation has intercepted hundreds of medicines, ordered online and illegally imported into the country.

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Photo: PHOTO NZ

The week-long operation, led by Interpol, is the seventh sting of its kind targetting substandard, illegal or counterfeit medicines crossing the border.

A total of 248 packages sent through the mail were held back for investigation, 50 fewer than last year.

The parcels originated in 32 countries, though most were from India, Switzerland and Great Britain.

Most of the seized medicines were for treatment of erectile dysfunction, with others imported for insomnia, endocrine disorders and heart disease or cholesterol problems.

Only two contained a counterfeit or fake product - one more than last year.

The medicines will be held by Medsafe until the importer can provide a doctor's prescription, and if none is forthcoming they will be destroyed.