Tuesday 12 December 2017

Mum-of-two accused of importing and selling prescription slimming tablets to plead guilty

Tom Tuite

A mother-of-two accused of supplying potentially dangerous slimming tablets by mail order and over the internet is to plead guilty, a court has heard.

Lydia McCarthy, from Alexandra Place, East Road, East Wall, Dublin 3, is facing 35 counts of breaking medicinal products regulations.

It is alleged she imported and advertised online slimming products which are subject to prescription control and contained a controversial drug called Sibutramine, which has been withdrawn from markets across the world due to health risk fears.

She appeared before Judge John O'Neill at Dublin District Court after she had been summonsed by the Irish Medicines Board (IMB).

Her lawyer told Judge O'Neill today there will be guilty pleas entered to some of the offences but time was needed to discuss which charges with the IMB's solicitor Ronan O'Neill.

Judge O'Neill adjourned the case until April 23 for the woman to decide on the counts to which she is going to plead guilty; the remaining charges are to be struck out.

Aside from any other possible penalty, she will also have to discharge the IMB's costs totalling €4,500 arising from analysis of different packages involved in the investigation. The court heard yesterday (MON) that she is a lone parent and it will take her some time to be able to pay.

In the charges it is alleged she imported into the State the medicine Reduce 15mg which contained the product Sibutramine, on dates between August 2012 and April 2013.

She is also accused of keeping the same product for supply in Dublin on September 28, 2012.

In other charges it is alleged that she supplied a product called “Reduce 15mg”, on August 6, 2012, August 7, 2012, and September 6, 2012. It is also alleged that she supplied it by mail order from: October 2 to October 5 2012; August 6 to August 12 in the same year, and on: August 7, 2012; September 6, 2012; October 2, 2012.

The woman is also accused of procuring the sale of Reduce 15mg on: May 29; June 5, 2012; June 21, 2012; July 26, 2012; August 8, 2012, August 31, 2012; September 13, September 7, 2012, and procuring the sale of “EHP-rapid weight loss”, on August 9, 2012.

It is also alleged that she placed Reduce 15mg on the market on September 28, 2012.

Between August 1 and September 28, 2012, it is claimed in the court summons, that she advertised Reductal and Reduce 15mgon on the Gumtree.ie, On And Gone.ie, Dealtime.ie websites while it also alleged that over the same period of time she advertised EPH- rapid weight loss on Dublinonlinemarket.ie and onlinemarkets.ie.

It is alleged the ads were placed in a manner did not clearly identify the products as prescription only medicines.

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