A €6,000 fine handed down by Dun Laoghaire District Court to a man selling unauthorised medicines has been welcomed by the Irish Medicines Board (IMB), which says it sent out a "strong warning".
The three types of a product called Ivory Wave – described as "stimulating bath salts" and containing the anaesthetic Lidocaine – were sold from Head Candy in Dun Laoghaire.
They were discovered during an investigation by IMB enforcement officers
Kevin Doogan and Manor Trading Novelty Goods Ltd pleaded guilty to the supply of medicines that should only be supplied through a pharmacy and to their supply without a marketing authorisation.
IMB director of compliance John Lynch said: "This prosecution sends out a very strong message and warning.
"These products were being sold without any regard to the health of those who might take them. There can be no guarantees about their safety or quality."
Mr Lynch cautioned the public against purchasing medicines from unregulated sources.
"There is no way for consumers to know what substances such products actually contain and consequently they can pose a serious risk to public health."
Doogan pleaded guilty to two counts of supplying a product that contained Lidocaine and was fined €2,000 with additional expenses and destruction costs to the value of €2,000 to be paid to the IMB.
Manor Trading Novelty Products pleaded guilty to three counts of supplying products containing Lidocaine and one count of supply without marketing authorisation.
Judge Bridget Reilly fined the company €4,000 and ordered €2,000 to be paid in costs to the IMB.
The case was brought by the IMB; its investigation was supported by the Gardai and the Revenue and Customs Service.
Mr Lynch said the IMB continually monitors and investigates instances of illegally supplied medicinal products and actively enforced suspected breaches of the law.
A few months ago, more than 120,000 tablets and €375,000 worth of capsules were seized as part of an international operation targeting counterfeit and illegal medicines.
Operation Pangea V resulted in the arrests of 79 people and led to 18,000 illegal online pharmacy websites being shut down through either domain name or payment facility removal.
Globally, 3.7m items worth about €8.1m were discovered and detained by authorities.