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Home > Prescription drugs [internet sales] [43273/12] [43274/12].

[Oireachtas] Prescription drugs [internet sales] [43273/12] [43274/12]. (09 Oct 2012)

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561. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Health if, having considered the issue of the illegal purchase of prescription drugs on the internet, he will consider introducing regulations to obtain information from the banking sector on the use of credit or debit cards through internet sites on the same, purchase and supply of prescription drugs with a view to securing prosecutions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43273/12] 

676. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Health if, in relation to the purchase of prescription drugs on internet websites, he will consider introducing regulation to detect through the banking and credit care sector details of those purchasing and selling prescription drugs through mail order; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43274/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): I propose to take Questions Nos. 561 and 676 together.


Under the Medicinal Products (Prescription and Control of Supply) Regulations, 2003, as amended, it is illegal for prescription medicines to be prescribed by mail order. This includes ordering prescription medicines through internet sites. Under the Irish Medicines Board Acts 1995 and 2006, authorised Irish Medicines Board (IMB) inspectors are empowered to enter any premises and inspect, take copies and remove documents and records which he or she has reasonable grounds for believing are related to illegal internet trade.


The IMB works closely with the Revenue's Customs Service and an Garda Siochana to prevent the illegal sales of prescription only medicines. In addition, the IMB, the Custom Services and the Gardaí work within electronic payment processors and others to target the online purchase of illegal and counterfeit medicines. Under the current legislation banks and credit card companies are obliged to cooperate fully in relation to investigations.


The Deputy may be aware of the recent Operation Pangea V, an international week of action which took place from 25th September to 2nd October 2012 targeting the online sale of counterfeit and illegal medicines. Operation Pangea annually involves national medicines agencies, international police and customs authorities working closely with electronic payment providers to identify the sale of illegal and counterfeit medicines. The Operation was supported by companies such as Legitscript, Visa, Mastercard and PayPal and resulted in the shutdown of 18,000 websites worldwide which are linked to illicit online pharmacies.


Dáil Éireann Debate Vol. 773 No. 12 Unrevised

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

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