Diabetes and Obesity: Drugs

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 28 November 2023.

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Photo of Martyn Day Martyn Day Scottish National Party, Linlithgow and East Falkirk

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether her Department is taking steps to prevent second generation GLP-1 weight management medications being available for purchase online without prescription.

Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) enforces the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 on behalf of the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. Buying any medicinal product, including second generation glucagon-like peptide 1 weight management medications, from illegally trading online suppliers significantly increases the risk of getting a product which is either falsified or not licensed for use in the United Kingdom. The MHRA continues to work with social media and online sales platforms to build strong partnerships to identify and quickly remove illegal medicines from sale and to identify those unlawfully trading in medicines. We work with partners to remove web content where we can, and to block harmful URLs and domain names.

The MHRA works to prevent false customer feedback from promoting illegal online suppliers and has arrangements in place with major search engine providers to delist offending domain names. The MHRA also works with payment providers to disrupt the processing of payments via illegal sites. The MHRA will take appropriate enforcement action, including, where necessary, prosecuting those who put public health at risk.

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