Gardaí say organised criminal gangs are getting involved in the sale and supply of fake medicines and pharmaceutical products.

An Interpol conference of Pharmaceutical crime in Dublin today was told that it is increasing in Ireland and the criminals involved are known traffickers.

The Health Products Regulatory Authority has also warned people about the dangers of buying medicines on the internet. 

Pharmaceutical crime is a multi-million euro global problem but the garda and health authorities say it is one that is developing in Ireland.

Organised crime gangs are involved here selling prescription drugs such as anti-anxiety and sleeping medicines on the streets.

Gardaí say they are involved in importing and distributing in much the same way as cocaine, heroin and cannabis.

There is also a growing market for fake medicines such as slimming products on the internet.

However, experts warned that many of these websites are fronts for organised crime.

30% of pharmaceutical products in Africa, Asia and Latin are fake.

Health officials in Ireland say so far no false medicines have been found in the legal supply in hospitals and pharmacies.

However, they say they remain vigilant and seriously concerned about what is a growing problem.