There have been several suggestions here that some medicines, most topically Liothyronine, are in short supply due to pharmacies exporting product.
The MHRA gave a very clear statement on this a few years ago (2005). This paragraph states that exporting in the face of UK short supply could be criminal activity:
If a wholesaler chose to trade medicines for export that were in short supply in the UK and as a consequence the needs of patients in the UK were not met, the holder of a wholesale dealer’s licence could be in breach of the Regulations, and could face regulatory action against his licence, and/or criminal prosecution. The requirements apply to all holders of a wholesale dealer’s licence including pharmacists and pharmacy owners who hold a wholesale dealer’s licence.
If you have ANY evidence that any pharmacy or pharmacist is exporting, or has exported, medicine in short supply, please provide that to the MHRA.
It is not only the MHRA who have agreed that document:
This document has been endorsed by the following organisations:
Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry
British Association of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers
Department of Health
Dispensing Doctors’ Association
Ethical Medicines Industry Group
General Practitioners Committee of the British Medical Association
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
National Pharmacy Association
Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee
Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain
I do appreciate that prior to this time there was considerably more trade of this type and that such exports may not have been banned. However, the statement above is unequivocal - it is NOT allowed.
I am also not naive enough to think that illegal activities never occur. So we have to do what we can to bring offenders up short.