Skin :: Couple sentenced for illegally selling unlicensed medicines as skin lightening creams

A married couple were sentenced and fined at Inner London Crown Court for illegally selling and supplying unlicensed steroid creams masked as skin lightening products.

The sentence follows a joint prosecution by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and Southwark Trading Standards.

Both were given a nine months prison sentence suspended for 2 years. They were ordered to pay a total of ?92,267 (?35,000 each in fines and ?22,267 jointly in costs). They were both suspended from holding company directorships for the next 5 years. The couple were previously warned and also received a criminal conviction for a similar offence.

Mick Deats, Head of Enforcement and Intelligence at the MHRA said, ?The public, particularly those amongst the Asian, African and Afro-Caribbean communities, must be very careful when buying skin lightening creams. We have found some of these products to contain unlicensed medicinal ingredients, namely steroid creams. These are, by their very nature potent, and can cause serious damage to your health. This couple, despite a string of warnings, have continued to put people at risk. This case serves as a reminder that we will continue to clamp down on people who flout the laws under the Medicines Act and who pose a threat to public health.?

Michael (49) and Yinka Oluyemi (46) of 17 Lawrie Park Avenue, Sydenham, London SE26 6HA run two hair products and cosmetic shops, Yinka Bodyline and Beauty Express, both in Peckham, south London. MHRA Enforcement officers, together with Southwark Trading Standards Officers, carried out an undercover test purchase on 1 July 2004 at Yinka Bodyline. The products, called Movate and Dermovate Cream, which were recovered, are Prescription Only Medicines, not cosmetics and can only be prescribed by appropriate professionals. Further products and documentation were seized during a subsequent inspection on 6 July 2004.

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