Back in April 08, I wrote about Artrosilium - one in a very long line of dodgy products aimed at the 5 million or so Britons who have arthitis or similar diseases. Despite having been slapped by Advertising Standards Authority in May 2004 and made the MHRA hitlist for unregistered medical products in 2003 and so not allowed to be sold in the UK, the product was still being sold via the website at www.artrosilium.co.uk.
(Incidentally, the parent company IntraMed Ltd has recently been slapped again by the ASA for another product Ginkgo Biloba in Sept 08)
I wrote again about the parent company IntraMed Ltd (and Artrosilium) with regards to their other dealings in the world of quack medicines.
In the time from then til now, the largest hit rate from search engines coming to this blog has been with searches relating to Artrosilium. My concern was that a product that had been identified by MHRA as not suitable for sale in UK was being sold in the UK via a .co.uk registered website and fellow arthritis sufferers were being suckered for more money in search of elusive long term pain relief.
With the help of Steve Rolles, I approached my local MP, who listened attentively and was immediately on side, and agreed to follow up the case.
The response I got at the time from Dawn Primarolo (Minister of State for Public Health) was helpful, but not as much as I'd hoped - mainly that because Artrosilium was being sold by a Swiss company and the payment was on a Swiss website (only the advertising was on a UK website) then there wasn't much they could do, although she did say:
...the internet service provider has been contacted in an effort to seek compliance with UK medicines regulatory requirements.However
The importation of medicines by individuals for their own personal use or for use by a family member is exempt from regulatory controls, and this includes purchases from the internet.
I'll hopefully be taking this up with my MP in the near future, as I don't think this situation is completely satisfactory, but nonetheless appreciated the help and replies from those in charge.
She also made me aware that another IntraMed Ltd product, www.themicrodoctor.co.uk is currently being investigated by MHRA so perhaps it's not so bad.
To my happy surprise, I clicked on the Artrosilium website today to find:
Thankyou for your interest in Artrosilium. This website is currently unavailable.
So hoorah. Providing it doesn't rear its head again, I'll claim that as a minor victor for this blog and for arthritis sufferers everywhere.