Woman who sold slimming tablets illegally gets more time to pay costs

Lydia McCarthy admits using mail order and advertising medication on popular websites

A Dublin woman who admitted unlawfully supplying potentially dangerous slimming tablets, has been allowed more time to pay €3,250 legal costs.

Lydia McCarthy, a mother of two with an address at Alexandra Place, East Road, East Wall, admitted using mail order and advertising the medication on popular websites.

She has pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court to 16 counts of breaking medicinal products regulations and has to pay prosecution legal costs.

Judge John O’Neill noted she had brought €200 to court and the prosecution was satisfied she is making “genuine efforts” to come up with the money.


Judge O’Neill had said earlier she faced very serious chargers and he wanted “concrete proposals” from her. He said it appeared she was making efforts to co-operate and he adjourned the case until June.

In December, she had also handed over €300 in court after she had already been given eight months to pay fees and expenses incurred by the Irish Medicines Board, now called the Health Products Regulatory Authority.

After the medicine board’s costs are discharged, the court can then proceed to consider any other penalties which include fines or a possible jail sentence.

Ms McCarthy’s lawyer had told Judge O’Neill in December that she had expected to be able pay more but had needed the money when a rent increase forced her to move home. Counsel also told Judge O’Neill that Ms McCarthy could afford €30 a week to cover the costs.

She admitted she imported, supplied and advertised prescription controlled products containing Sibutramine, a substance which has been withdrawn from markets across the world.

She admitted importing “Reduce 15mg” on dates in September 2012 and April 2013, without being granted a manufacturer’s authorisation by the IMB. She kept the product for supply and supplied the medicine over four dates in September and August 2012

Three other counts to which she pleaded guilty state she unlawfully supplied Reduce 15mg by “mail order” between August 6th, 2012 and September 6th, 2012.

She has also admitted that she unlawfully procured the sale of the medicine and placed it on the market without authorisation.

She also pleaded guilty to the unlawfully advertising slimming medicines on websites between August 1st and September 28th, 2012. These included the medicines: Reduce 15mg, Reductil and Reductal, which all contained Sibutramine.

She also admitted that in one of the online ads she did not clearly identify Reduce 15mg as a medicinal product.

When she entered guilty pleas to 16 charges, the prosecution agreed to drop another 19 counts.