UK flooded with counterfeit condoms but NHS reassure Manchester that fakes are not on our streets

By Tui Benjamin 

Millions of counterfeit condoms that flooded the UK have not found their way to the city, according to NHS Manchester.

The Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) warned millions of fakes have been illegally imported in the last 18 months.  

Smuggled counterfeits were a ‘growing problem’ according to the MHRA but Jon Dunn, Public Health Manager for NHS Manchester, said the city does not appear to have been affected.

“We are aware that the national press have picked up on this issue but it is important to be clear there have been no cases reported of this particular problem in Manchester,” he said.

Mr Dunn also advised there are no problems with condoms bought or supplied through the NHS chain.

“If there had been instances reported we would advise people to be careful about where they purchase these goods from,” he added.

A spokesperson for Manchester Trading Standards confirmed they had received no complaints about counterfeit condoms being sold in Manchester in the last 18 months, and so have carried out no investigations.

Danny Lee-Frost, of the MHRA’s Enforcement Team, said the MHRA are taking action against suppliers of counterfeit condoms. 

“It’s vital that people buy condoms from well-known reputable retailers and pharmacies and not from the internet websites or from less reputable retailers such as market stalls or low quality shops where counterfeit condoms are often sold cheaply,” he said.

“Counterfeit condoms look real but they are badly made and anyone using one has a higher risk of catching a sexually transmitted disease or having an unwanted pregnancy.”

A Manchester student who wished to remain anonymous told MM that it was only now he realised that buying cheap condoms was ‘a complete false economy’.

“When you see it’s got the official-looking logo, you don’t even think about counterfeits,” he said.  

“I had one dodgy time that a condom split on me but I just thought it was bad luck. 

“Now I’ve realised those condoms I picked up cheap might have been imported fakes, which scarily could have offered no protection whatsoever.  

“I’ve learned my lesson – from now on I’ll be sticking to high street retailers, or getting them for free from the clinic.”

Anyone who thinks they may have bought fake condoms can contact the MHRA hotline on 020 3080 6701 or email [email protected]

Picture courtesy via Wiki Commons, with thanks.

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