Hyderabad: Switzerland’s drug regulator Swissmedic has said that 45% of illegal medicines confiscated in that country originated from India.

Over half the confiscated medicinal products were erectile stimulants, according to a statement issued by the regulator last week. “Medicines that people buy and take themselves without medical supervision involve numerous risks and dangers. Nevertheless, more illegal medicinal products were confiscated at the Swiss border last year than in the previous year. This follows a period of three years in which the numbers declined.

“Over half the confiscated medicinal products were erectile stimulants. 45% of all the medicines confiscated originated in India," it said. Last year, Swiss customs reported 1,225 confiscations of illegal shipments of medicinal products to Swissmedic, compared to 1,096 cases in 2013.

While 53% of the preparations confiscated were erectile stimulants, 13% were sleeping pills and tranquillisers and 10% slimming preparations, it said. “A growing number of men are overdosing on erectile stimulants, and they are anything but harmless," said Ruth Mosimann, head of market monitoring of illegal medicines at Swissmedic.

“The shipments of medicinal products confiscated by Swiss customs in 2014 originated in 55 different countries. 45% of all confiscated preparations were sent from India. Better enforcement in Europe is forcing criminal distributors to switch to India, where the authorities are obviously taking very little action," Mosimann said.

According to a Swissmedic report, 34% and 30% of the confiscated medicinal product shipments, respectively, in 2013 and 2012 originated from India.

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