Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry acne drug online seller investigated

The drugs
Image caption The company, which is run from Turkey, said it sold Roaccutane for 10 years

Government regulators are investigating after a Coventry-registered company sold a prescription-only acne medication online.

The Turkey-based firm said it had sold Roaccutane in the UK for 10 years.

Campaigners have called for more research into the drug but regulators say its safety is kept under review.

Cem Tural, who runs the company, said he had "no idea" it was illegal to sell the drug without a prescription in the UK and would withdraw the stock.

'Very concerned'

BBC reporters saw the drug being advertised online and ordered it from the company, which is registered in Coventry city centre.

When contacted about the sale, Mr Tural said: "I didn't know until you told me it was illegal.

"I will take measures for the UK and if l find the same concerns [in other countries] we will take it off our website altogether."

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Media captionBBC Inside Out investigates illegal sales of roaccutane, the powerful prescription-only drug used to help in the treatment of acne

Parents whose children committed suicide while taking, or after taking, Roaccutane have lobbied MPs to ban the drug.

However manufacturer Roche said "no causal link" had been established between Roaccutane and either depression or suicide.

It confirmed the tablets sold by the company were genuine, but added: "We recommend against anyone purchasing from a potentially unreliable source and support the guidance from the MHRA… about the purchase of medicines over the internet".

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said it would investigate the online retailer.

Lynda Scammell, senior enforcement advisor, said: "The MHRA... are very concerned about the sale of certain goods over the internet.

"There are strict regulatory controls of medicines and the supplies of medicine and a medicine like Roaccutane not only needs a prescription, it needs a prescription by a consultant dermatologist.

"Any supply of that medicine without a prescription is a criminal offence in the United Kingdom."

Inside Out is broadcast on BBC One West Midlands on Monday, 23 March at 19:30 GMT and nationwide on the iPlayer for 30 days thereafter.

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