Smuggling: illegal inflow of medicinal products in Switzerland
2020-03-12 | News & Media

Smuggling: illegal inflow of medicinal products in Switzerland

In 2019, Swissmedic (the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products), working together with the Federal Customs Administration of Switzerland (FCA), carried out twice as many seizures of illegally imported drugs - 7,781. This became possible by applying a simplified procedure to unlawful imports of certain medicines and active substances, in particular:

• stimulants of erection;

• narcotic and psychotropic drugs.

New distribution channels and high seizures

In 2019 the distributing channels of counterfeit and substandard medicines changed. Indian-made products often shipped through hubs in Poland, Singapore, and the UK. Unsuitable transit routes affect the stability and effectiveness of medications. High humidity and ambient temperature during transportation and storage of medicines pose an additional danger to human health.

The introduction of a simplified procedure has led to a sharp increase in the number of seized consignments.

The origin of illegal imports by country/region

India - 42.9%;

Eastern Europe (primarily Poland) - 26.8%;

Asia (except India, primarily Singapore) - 17.8%;

Western Europe (mainly Great Britain and Germany) - 11.7%

Other countries - 0.8%.

Confiscated Items

Erection stimulants - 91.3%;

Other prescription drugs - 3.8%;

Hypnotics and tranquilizers - 2.7%;

Drugs for weight loss - 0.2%;

Other - 2.0%.

Acquisition of drugs through uncontrolled channels poses a serious health risk. Deliveries often go without packaging, product information (dosage, restrictions on use, or possible side effects). Only doctors or pharmacists can decide whether to use a prescription drug.

Starting January 1, 2019, Swissmedic prosecutes drug offenders (in the event of a violation of the Law on Therapeutic Products) and the Federal Customs Administration (regarding violation of VAT and customs regulations).

Source: https://www.admin.ch/gov/en/start/documentation/me...

Legal disclaimer. This article does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. The article should be used for informational purposes only.

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