Tuesday 17 March 2015
The Home Department Board has approved a request to amend the Import (Control) (Guernsey) Order, 2010, so that it includes specific reference to medicinal products that are or contain GcMAF as prohibited imports.
The Health and Social Services Department requested that the law be amended, as Chief Pharmacist Ed Freestone explains:
"The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency notified the authorities in Guernsey, on 12 February, of their opinion that the GcMAF product originating in facilities in Cambridgeshire posed a serious risk to public health.
Therefore immediate action was required to prevent that product from entering the local market and putting islanders at risk. At the request of HSSD, the grant of import licences in relation to GcMAF, by the Guernsey Border Agency, ceased with immediate effect. All known sources of local supplies of GcMAF were originating in the UK and were marked as First Immune product according to information that was available.
At that time and until the amendment order came into effect, any application for the grant of an import licence for GcMAF would have been considered under article 3 of the Import (Control) (Guernsey) Order, 2010. The authorities have been advised that the addition of GcMAF to schedule 6A (specific substances, etc, of concern) of the Law provides a greater degree of clarity as to how the import of GcMAF is controlled.
By specifically listing GcMAF products as "prohibited imports", the authorities remain able, in appropriate circumstances, to consider a proposal to import this product from an alternative source, subject to advance request and appropriate process and approvals."
The Guernsey Border Agency enforces import and export legislation, and Branch Manager Peter Knee said:
'The purpose of this change is to specifically prohibit the importation of any medicinal product that is, purports to be, contains or purports to contain GcMAF by naming it outright in Schedule 6A of the Import (Control) (Guernsey) Order, 2010.
Currently, the importation of any medicinal product is prohibited subject to certain exemptions contained within the Law - in relation to importation for personal use, the exemption centres on products defined as "legitimate medicines", which when imported in small quantities and for personal use only, are not considered to pose a significant risk to public health.
While GcMAF would not have qualified for that exemption, in light of the public health concerns identified by the MHRA, the product has become a specific substance of concern and this is reflected in the addition of GcMAF products to Schedule 6A of the Law. This amendment ensures there is no provision for a personal use exemption in relation to GcMAF products.
However, if a safe supply of GcMAF is found, which satisfies HSSD, the Home Department can still issue a licence to permit importation.
In practical terms the amendment does not alter the current position with regard to anyone desiring to import GcMAF, or any product containing GcMAF. Such importation remains prohibited, unless an import licence is obtained."
An identical amendment was signed off by the Alderney States on 10 March.
Both the Guernsey and Alderney amendments come into force today.