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Wholesaler owner given suspended sentence


Wholesaler owner given suspended sentence

The owner of a pharmaceutical wholesaler has been handed a 20-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months and 100 hours of community service having pleaded guilty in June to importing and distributing medicines worth more than £2.9 million without holding the correct licences.

As the director of London-based Wimpole Pharmacie Ltd, Amr Mosa, 36, imported prescription-only medicines including Herceptin, Avastin and Enbrel from Egypt to the UK before distributing them from the UK to a company based in Germany between July 2017 and June 2018. The medicines need to be stored at low temperatures.

Although Wimpole Pharmacie Ltd had been granted a licence to distribute medicines within the European Economic Area, it did not allow the company to distribute cold chain products or import them into the UK from outside the EEA.

Other prescription-only medicines the company did not have the correct licences to import or distribute were Eylea, Faslodex, Humira, Kadcyla, Lucentis Neulasta, Nexavar, Opdivo, Perjeta, Soliris, Stelara, Sutent, Velcade and Xgeva.

An alert by the European Medicines Agency in August 2018 raised concerns that a batch of medicines supplied by Wimpole Pharmacie Ltd to Germany had originally been stolen from hospitals in Italy.

Wimpole Pharmacie Limited imported 4,484 packs of medicines, paying £2,744,184 and selling them for £2,968,069, generating a profit of £223,885. Mr Mosa is listed by Companies House as an Egyptian national and a pharmacist.

“It’s a serious criminal offence to import and distribute medicines without the right licences. We work closely with regulatory and law enforcement partners to identify and bring to justice those who fall short of legal compliance,” said Andy Morling, the MHRA’s deputy director of criminal enforcement.

“It’s important that all suppliers understand and follow the regulatory requirements around importing and distributing medicines and medical devices. If not, they could fail to meet our safety standards, endangering patient health.

“While there is no evidence that these medicines posed a risk to patients, they had been stolen from hospitals in Italy before being imported from Egypt. This case illustrates that failing to comply with the regulations and conditions of the relevant licences can have serious consequences.”

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