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20% increase in seizures of illegal anabolic steroids

Almost 875,000 units of falsified and other illegal medicines were seized by authorities in Ireland last year, according to the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA).

The most significant categories of illegal products detained were sedatives (34%), anabolic steroids (29%). erectile dysfunction medicines (10%), pain killers (5%) and stimulants (3%).

The HPRA has warned of the serious health dangers posed by sourcing prescription medicines online and from unauthorised sources.

It said that the supply of these products into and within Ireland is illegal and that consumers can have no guarantees about the safety or quality of prescription medicines they are seeking to buy outside of the regulated pharmacy setting.

Specific substances of note in the last year were Botulinum toxin used for botox injections, melatonin to aid sleep and Semaglutide to lose weight.

HPRA Director of Compliance Grainne Power said that while there was a slight decrease on the overall seizures last year, there was a concerning increase in a number of categories, in particular, a rise of over 20% in the volume of illegal anabolic steroids detained.

She said that these products can cause serious physical and psychological health issues, including heart failure, liver issues, kidney damage and infertility.

The HPRA said that last year through enforcement activities, 2,348 websites, e-commerce or social media pages were amended or shut down.

The authority has worked in co-operation with An Garda Síochána and the Revenue’s Customs Service.

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