Dodgy dental equipment seized at Showcase
Dozens of potentially dodgy dental products were seized after an impromptu raid at the BDIA Dental Showcase at the NEC in Birmingham last week.
Inspectors from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) were at the exhibition to raise awareness of the rise in counterfeit and non-compliant dental devices when organisers received a tip-off from another exhibitor.
The dental goods in question, which were brought in from China for sale to UK dental customers, included 20 curing lights, 19 hand pieces, 150 drill bits, dental mirrors, false teeth, as well as air prophy units.
Edmund Proffitt, policy and public affairs director at the BDIA, said: “It was brought to our attention by one of our exhibitors at Dental Showcase that one of the stands was unfortunately selling, what appeared to be, counterfeit and non-compliant goods.
“So, as the MHRA were actually at Showcase we contacted some of their senior inspectors and we were able to determine that quite a lot of the stock didn’t conform or wasn’t certified to European and UK markets. We were then able to bring in a number of additional MHRA inspectors and all the suspected counterfeit and non-compliant products were seized.”
The MHRA explained that it is very difficult to prosecute any companies outside of the UK, however they have the power to seize suspect goods and, if it is proven that they are illegal, they can destroy them.
Alastair Jeffrey, head of the enforcement group at the MHRA, said: “We were at the dental exhibition to raise awareness of the proliferation of counterfeit and noncompliant medical devices; this ended up being a very practical example and clearly illustrated the problem.”
The MHRA’s Yellow Card Scheme encourages any healthcare professional or patient to report any problems with healthcare products, or suspected counterfeit or non-compliant goods. For more information or to report an incident, visit www.gov.uk/yellowcard
For more information on the BDIA’s Counterfeit and Substandard Instruments and Devices Initiative, visit www.bdia.org.uk/device-reporting