The objective of this article was to describe and analyze the situation of illicit products in Spain, both medicines and dietary supplements, notifying main actions taken in recent months and their worldwide contextualization. Also serve as a warning about the magnitude of the problem and the importance of the role of the community pharmacist.
Searches of information were looked at a national and international level. A descriptive analysis of the Information Notes published by the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices (AEMPS, Illegal Drugs, Human Use, 2015) was also conducted.
Illicit sale products constitute a major problem for public health that has not stopped increasing. Specifically, in Spain, 20 Notes were published in 2015. These included the prohibition and withdrawal of a total of 35 products. Marketed as dietary supplement, they contained an active ingredient enough to be legally considered as a medicine. 86% were aimed at treating erectile dysfunction.
It is essential international collaboration to minimize this issue. The last and most important operation was PANGEA VIII in June 2015, which involved 115 countries. In January 2016, the “Medicrime Convention” entered into force, an international agreement on counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes. In addition, it is necessary to raise awareness and provide the citizens with mechanisms to identify potential risks inherent to the illicit sale products. Products purchased outside the permitted distribution channels do not ensure compliance with good manufacturing practice, distribution or subsequent storage, and they lack of adequate information.