UK officers have seized more than 3 million medicines and medical devices valued at over £9 million as part of a global operation tackling the illegal online sale of medicines and medical devices.

A week of action led by Interpol under Operation Pangea saw 113,000 illegally operating websites removed or URLs blocked in the UK, while eight search warrants were executed, with seven criminals arrested, across the country.

Under Operation Pangea, over 100 countries joined forces to seize non-compliant medical products and also to identify and remove thousands of illegally operating websites and URLs offering medicines and devices.

Antidepressants, erectile dysfunction tablets, painkillers, anabolic steroids and slimming pills were among the medicines seized.

“Criminals selling medicines and devices illegally are not only breaking the law but have no regard for your health. Taking fake or unlicensed medicines or using a non-compliant medical device could put your health and safety in danger and may lead to serious health issues,” said Andy Morling, head of Enforcement at the MHRA.

“Operation Pangea is a powerful example of what can be achieved through partnership working to tackle this kind of offending. We will continue to work closely with our international partners and UK Border Force to prevent unlicensed medicines from entering the UK, to identify illegally operating websites and to bring those criminals behind them to justice.”