The FAMHP, in collaboration with Belgian customs, took part in the international Operation PANGEA XI from 9 to 15 October 2018. This operation, coordinated by INTERPOL, specifically targets the interception of illicit and counterfeit medicinal products and devices. In Belgium, inspections were carried out at the Zaventem and Bierset airports.
The Belgian results of the internationally-conducted Operation PANGEA XI are as follows:
- 14,464 packages were inspected;
- 622 of these packages contained medicinal or health care products;
- the FAMHP seized 141 of these packages, containing 28,689 tablets, creams, bottles, etc.
Customs also identified 354 other infractions (counterfeiting, food safety, taxation, and confiscation for verification, amongst others).
In Belgium, the online sale of medicinal products is strictly regulated. It is illegal to purchase prescription-only medicinal products online. The aim of this regulation is to protect public health and to prevent counterfeit products.
Operation PANGEA is an international collaboration that has been carried out simultaneously by authorities in over 120 countries since 2008. The purpose of this operation is to combat the illegal sale and counterfeiting of medicinal products and the counterfeiting of medical instruments, and to fight against the organised crime related to this trade. Each year, operation PANGEA contributes, in particular, to the closure of websites that sell such products, to the disruption of electronic payments made by this business, and to the interception of products sent by courrier companies and postal services at border controls.
The aim of the operation is also to promote awareness of the dangers linked to the online purchase of medicinal products.