BCL partner, John Binns discusses Interpol’s Operation Pangea – which illustrates how financial crime can be overcome – in the context of the global fight against illicit medicines, in his latest article for Open Access Government.
Here is a short extract from the article*. If you wish to read the full article, please visit Open Access Government website.
”What can be done about the sale of illicit medicines? The question illustrates a familiar challenge in the world of law enforcement, in that a problem we as consumers and taxpayers can see as straightforwardly needing tough and enduring action is made harder to solve by two fundamental features of the landscape.
The first of these is legal complexity: even where the law clearly provides remedies against conduct, the overlapping provisions and procedures can be unhelpful. In the UK, for example, the starting point for tackling many drug sales, depending on their ingredients, may be controlled drugs offences. Counterfeit medicines may also breach intellectual property laws, which can be enforced either civilly or criminally. Some sales may defraud consumers or offend against unfair trading laws. And, of course, there are bespoke regimes for medicines (including natural and homoeopathic remedies) and medical devices.
Picking up the pieces
A related issue is the plethora of options for public sector enforcement, with local arrangements for policing and trading standards investigations supported (though sometimes patchily) by national ones for tackling online conduct and fraud. Specifically, in the pharmaceutical world, the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) effectively leads both in routine regulation of the sector and in criminal enforcement efforts when things go badly wrong.”
* This article was first published by Open Access Government on 15 August 2022. If you wish you read the full article please visit Open Access Government website.