Skip to main content

Drugs: Olympic Games 2012

Volume 470: debated on Monday 7 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure that members of teams competing in the 2012 Olympics (a) do not bring proscribed drugs or medicines into the UK prior to competition, (b) do not dispose of unused drugs or medicines on the UK market during competition and (c) remove all unused imported drugs and medicines from the UK on departure; and if he will make a statement. (175559)

The import and export of controlled drugs is prohibited under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, except under licence from the Home Office.

Medicines for human use are controlled in the United Kingdom by the 1968 Medicines Act and supporting regulations. Under the provisions of the Medicines Act, prescription-only medicines may be imported or exported to or from the UK by an individual for their personal use.

Any medicinal product which is brought into the UK by an individual for his or her own use or that of a member of his/her family is not ‘placed on the market’. Accordingly, it is not subject to the controls of medicines legislation. Any onward sale or supply by an individual however, would place the product on the market and bring it within the scope of regulatory control. The Medicines Act contains provisions to enforce the legislative requirements. Offences are criminal and prosecutions may be brought through the criminal courts.