New strategy to be launched against counterfeit drugs, report

The Financial Times reported Thursday that the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency plans to launch a new strategy to deal with counterfeit medicines. The move comes in response to concerns raised by regulators and the pharmaceutical industry over the production and sale of counterfeit drugs.

In an interview with the newspaper, Michael Deats, head of enforcement at the MHRA, specified that the agency will implement a series of new measures, including a greater focus put on generic drugs, more testing of branded drugs and tougher sentences for criminals.

Additionally, the agency is also planning to review how drugs are distributed and bought in the UK, which could result in fewer wholesale drug licenses provided by the MHRA. Large distributors have called for tougher controls on imports and exports, suggesting that the large number of licenses can easily create avenues for counterfeit products to enter the retail chain, The Financial Times reported.

"There has been a rise in seizures here and in other countries, and a shift from lifestyle to live-saving medicines. Drug counterfeiters can make a lot of money with low risk. We need to step up our game," Deats stated.

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