Ballyclare businessman convicted for illegal advertising and possession of medicines
A 51-year-old Ballyclare businessman charged with breaches of Human Medicines Regulations has been fined over £4,000 at Belfast Magistrates Court.
Nick Watkins, (51), from Forthaven in Ballyclare and the owner of MAC Aesthetics in Glengormley unlawfully offered anti-wrinkle and weight loss treatments.
The Court heard that the Department of Health's Medicines Regulatory Group (MRG) enforcement and pharmaceutical Inspectors visited the Glengormley aesthetics premises in December 2022 where they seized a significant quantity of medicines.
Further evidence of unlawful advertisement to supply prescription medicines was also established.
Peter Moore, Senior Medicines Enforcement Officer with the Department of Health who directed the investigation, said:
"This conviction sends a clear message that there are serious consequences if a person attempts to by-pass the regulated system and controls which are in place to ensure public safety and integrity of the medicines supply chain."
Of particular concern to MRG is the use of unregulated weight-loss injections.
Canice Ward, Head of the Medicines Regulatory Group said:
"The risk to public safety posed by the unlawful distribution and misuse of both authorised and unauthorised medicinal products within the non-surgical cosmetic sector in Northern Ireland is a serious issue. Patients should not be fooled by professional looking websites or social media websites offering medicines without prescription.
"Taking short cuts and using these medicines could expose you to a dangerous counterfeit or substandard medicine. Patients should only use prescription-only medicines after seeking appropriate advice from a healthcare professional.
"The Department is committed to taking all possible steps to stop illegal promotion, supply or misuse of medicines and when appropriate, to alerting the public about the dangers of using medicines outside of the regulated supply chain.
"The Department remains vigilant and continues to work with key partner agencies to monitor the illicit marketplace and will continue to take effective action where this is necessary to protect public safety in Northern Ireland."