United Kingdom’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is beginning to share intelligence with India in order to curb the unlicensed drugs in the country. UK officials believe that this information can assist the Indian Directorate Revenue Intelligence (DRI) to zone in on those regions suspected of shipping unlicensed medicines to Europe. The DRI is responsible for investigating smuggling in the country.
Illegal medicine trade is a huge market in India. According to data on border seizures, “for the past three years, India has shipped more drugs suspected of infringing upon intellectual property rights into the EU than any other country.” It is noted that some of these products were headed to the UK. Some shipments are able to be seized but unfortunately, others avoid detection at the border.
The DRI has already had some success as 350,000 sedatives and painkillers intended to enter Europe and the United States were able to be seized. The MHRA believes that by quickly sharing intelligence under existing bilateral agreements, they can seize a greater number of unlicensed medicines in the future before they leave India.