Sunday 18 November 2018

Dentist and daughter spared prison

Jim Madden and Orna Madden. Photo: Collins Courts
Jim Madden and Orna Madden. Photo: Collins Courts

Tom Tuite

A prominent dentist and his daughter, a qualified barrister and former vice chair of the Employment Appeals Tribunal, have been spared jail sentences for unlawfully exporting unregulated cancer medicine.

Medication was imported from India and relabelled to make it look like it was made in Ireland and the UK before it was exported to the Middle East, Dublin District Court was told.

Taj Accura Pharmaceutical Ltd and two of its executives, dentist Jim Madden of Upper Pembroke Street and his daughter Orna Madden of Hanover Dock, Dublin 2 were each given €1,000 fines yesterday after they pleaded guilty to six counts of breaking medicinal regulation laws.

Judge Michael Coghlan said if they had been found guilty following a trial he would have considered imposing jail sentences. He said there were high standards expected of people in the area of law and dentistry.

Dublin District Court heard their family business exported controversial Indian-made generic cancer treatment products to Middle East countries. They had been re-branded to appear that Ireland and the UK were countries of origin because the EU had higher quality and testing standards.

The charges related to Fluourouracil for as well as Afhlan and Melphalan products, used in the treatment of colon and breast cancers.

The court heard medicine was brought into Ireland from India via Istanbul, Turkey.

The case follows a one-and-a half-year probe by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) which began after the HPRA received a complaint from the Israeli health ministry.

Jim Madden and Orna Madden were convicted on charges relating to the sale of suspected falsified products and breaching medicinal product regulations.

Judge Coghlan heard Mr Madden had wanted to bring down the cost of cancer medication and entered into a partnership with Taj Accura Pharmaceutical in India.

Taj Accura Pharmaceutical Ltd (Ireland) re-branded it to say it was manufactured by a firm in England, with a false address in Sussex.

The defendants had agreed to pay €7,500 in prosecution costs.

Mr Madden set up a family pharmaceutical business and he was involved in the setting up of the Whitfield Clinic, Waterford. There has been an IBRC judgment of €37m against him and his wife and "he is left with nothing", counsel said.

Orna Madden had practised as a barrister from 2004 until 2013. She left the bar to work with Taj Accura Pharmaceutical Ltd.

The court heard they made no financial gain and their barrister said they were embarrassed and remorseful.

Irish Independent

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