Probe into impersonation claims by supplement rival
The UK Department of Health's anti-fraud unit is understood to be investigating after a staff member at a British company allegedly impersonated a NHS official, with the aim of spreading untrue information about an Irish rival.
The department is investigating allegations made about London-based Aymes International, a manufacturer of nutritional supplements, the Sunday Independent understands.
A rival Irish business, Nualtra, has claimed an Aymes employee posed as a NHS employee for the purpose of obtaining information about Nualtra, and that Aymes later spread unfounded accusations about Nualtra to potential customers within the health service via email.
Like Aymes, Nualtra similarly sells nutritional supplements, including brands such as Nutriplen and Nutricrem which are used by NHS health care professionals.
Nualtra's backers include well-known Irish businessmen Leslie Buckley and Sean Corkery.
When queried, the UK Department of Health's anti-fraud unit said it could not confirm or deny an investigation for legal reasons.
A spokesman added: "We take any allegations of misrepresentation of the NHS brand extremely seriously."
Disputes between Aymes and Nualtra have led to court cases in both England and Ireland.
Sunday Indo Business