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'Fake Viagra pills sold in shops could be fatal'

Thousands of fake variations of sex enhancement drug Viagra shipped from India and sold in Asian corner shops across the UK can be dangerous and even fatal.

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LONDON: Thousands of fake variations of sex enhancement drug Viagra shipped from India and sold in Asian corner shops across the UK can be dangerous and even fatal, trading officials warned on Friday.
    
Dubbed the "pills that kill", officials said the medicines were untested and urged anyone who bought them to throw them away immediately.
    
"These tablets are illegal and unlicensed and have not been tested to UK standards to ensure they are safe. Anyone taking them could be risking their life," Sangeeta Sharma, a senior pharmaceutical advisor who works for the local health authority in Ealing, West London, told BBC on Friday.
    
The potentially deadly pills being sold under the counter include Viagara, Proxyron and Kamagra. Kamagra oral jelly is also being sold.
    
Viagra is licensed in Britain to treat erectile dysfunction and is only available with a doctor's prescription or from some pharmacies.
    
According to health experts, just one of these pills could kill someone who is already taking prescribed medicines for liver, heart, kidney or blood pressure problems.
    
In recent days trading standards officers working undercover have seized nearly 1,600 tablets from one shop in Southall, the same Ealing community where 2,000 tablets were seized three weeks ago.
    
Authorities believe the fake pills are also being sold in Yorkshire and Scotland and they say they are now targeting the importers who bring in the drugs from the subcontinent.
    
In India a strip of four tablets can be as cheap as 50 pence, compared with the 15 pounds they fetch on the black market in London.
    
At Boots, the chemist, which began selling Viagra without prescription in February 2007, an hour-long consultation and medical tests conducted by a pharmacist cost 50 pounds, which includes four tablets.

 

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