FIVE Britons were charged for allegedly selling British pharmaceutical brands in or to food stores in the Alicante Province without permission, according to the Guardia Civil. The pharmaceutical products included aspirin, ibuprofen, the cough medicine Guaifenesin, the anti-nausea drug Ipecacuana, the local anesthetic drug Lidocaine and the anti-viral drug Aciclovir, among others.
A total of 6,234 packets of 85 different medications were seized from aware house in Rojales, another in Polop de la Marina as well as British supermarkets in La Vila and Orihuela Costa. The value of the seized drugs is estimated to be around €24,000, according to the Valencia Regional Health Department’s pharmacy inspectors.
Both medications for human and animal consumption must be dispensed by a pharmacist or under the supervision of a veterinarian, according to Spanish law. In late 2009, ananalysis of 140 products was conducted by the Spanish Medicines Agency to discover their exact composition and it was confirmed that they contained ‘pharmacologically active ingredients’.
This means that they are considered medications and it is therefore illegal to sell them outside of pharmacies in Spain because they constitute a ‘risk to public health’ so must be sold under medical supervision.
Investigations began to find any storage facilities that imported and distributed these products and the warehouses were discovered in March and April this year.
EDITOR’S NOTE. CORRECTION: In the printed version of this story on p2 of this week’s newspaper Costa Blanca South edition, it states the Britons were ‘arrested’ . We have been informed this was not the case as they were ‘charged’ but not arrested.