Legal Supply Chain – How can we protect it?

Home>>Good Distribution PracticeMHRARisk ManagementAssociates>>Legal Supply Chain – How can we protect it?

The Legal supply Chain – How can we protect it?

By increasing the number of referrals to the MHRA


Sadly, many wholesalers are scared of the regulator, but it should be noted that there is a legal requirement under section 43 of the Human Medicines Regulations for the licence holder to advise the competent authority of any medicines or trader that is involved with falsified medicines, or suspected falsified medicines.

This requirement also includes stolen and diverted products that may be offered or supplied.

The base inclination when receiving a call from a suspicious individual is to back away, reject the contact and move on.

Sadly, this allows them to move on to the next and less diligent individual, who may buy/sell/discuss the products and think “it’s probably OK” or “there’s a profit.”

What should you do if you are contacted by someone suspicious?

  • Be friendly.
  • Be polite.
  • Be interested.
  • Collect more information on what is for sale, how much, where was it from.
  • Get telephone number and email.
  • Ask how they will pay and where will you deliver it.

Collate all of this information, and supply it to the case referrals team or your inspector.

Remember that if you are implicated in illegally trading in controlled substances, or illegally buy or sell medicines, you face an unlimited fine, and between 2 years (Human Medicines Regulations 2012) and 14 years (UK law, supply of controlled drugs) in prison.

Both you and your staff should be trained in Falsified Medicines, and should know the definition of a falsified medicine. Do you?

Medicines enforcement

Enquiries about potential illegal dealings with medicines

Telephone (weekdays 9:00-17:00): 020 3080 6330

Telephone (out-of-hours emergency): 020 3080 6701


Report suspected counterfeit/falsified medicines via the Yellow Card Scheme.

Telephone: 020 3080 6330



The watchlist of substances of abuse is continually growing and so is the misuse of items on this list.

Many drug users are “turning to diazepam”.

Diazepam, formerly known as Valium, is prescribed for insomnia and anxiety and is increasing in popularity with drug users.

Diazepam is being used as a heroin substitute, and often taken alongside alcohol and methadone to ease the comedown from crack cocaine. This, combined, with other drugs can lead to high risk of overdose.

With increasing headlines and press coverage, pharmacists and wholesalers are on the front line, and are in a good position to help reduce risks around Z drugs and Pam drugs.

Sadly, and in many cases, pharmacists and wholesalers have been part of the cause and continuation of the problem. From the misuse of Diazepam  Valium/blues, z drugs (Zopiclone and Zoplidem) and Pregabalin bought online, these illegal sales are causing fatalities and the misuse of these “sleeping pills” is rapidly increasing.

And… it doesn’t stop there.

At least 60 UK drug deaths in the first 8 months of 2017 were linked to Fentanyl.

What are the issues?

The threat to the legal supply chain is not only falsified or defective medicinal products….

The threat is also with the GENUINE licensed products intended for supply within the United Kingdom. Unlawfully diverted from the legitimate supply chain, the genuine products are being prescribed online with little oversight, and from non-CQC registered premises, and brought with the intent to supply on streets as a substitute heroin or for cocaine/crack users to aid in combating their “comedown.”

These are not stolen or counterfeit/falsified products these are genuine products that are being personally misused by patients or purchased to resell on the streets of the UK.

Some wholesale dealers are being willfully neglectful or are completing weak/no due diligence and allowing excessive purchases by pharmacies or other wholesale distributors with increasing number of deaths and addictions.

Want to know more, or need training for your teams?

Contact us for a no obligation chat, or follow our blogs.


Please follow and like us:

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.