Men jailed for selling unlicensed medicines to sick patients

|News, Fraud and economic crime

Four people who manufactured and sold an unlicensed drug to patients suffering from conditions including cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV and autism have been sentenced today (27 November).

David Noakes, 65, owned Macro Innovations in Cambridgeshire, a laboratory responsible for producing a drug called GcMAF. The product was made of human blood plasma which was for research purposes only and not for human consumption.

A further company, Immuno Biotech, based in Guernsey and also owned by David Noakes was used to promote and sell the products.

Through online advertisements and marketing, Immuno Biotech claimed the product would treat a wide range of diseases or conditions including cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, herpes, HIV and lupus.

The promotional literature produced by the company claimed the product was a new “cutting edge” treatment which was a natural immune therapy.

Dr. Rodney Smith and Emma Ward, the scientists, both worked at the laboratory and manufactured the medicine. Smith and Ward knew the product was being sold to customers, despite it not being licensed.

Loraine Noakes, David’s ex-wife, was in charge of distributing the product through a company called European Fulfilment. In one year, she bought more than 6,700 flasks in which to send the product to customers worldwide.

An inspection was carried out at the Macro laboratory in January 2015 where the manufacturing operations were found. The defendants had never applied for a licence to manufacture or distribute GcMAF and none were registered as pharmacists.

Ward initially claimed the drugs were only being produced for research purposes, Southwark Crown Court heard. As the investigation progressed, Noakes and co-defendant Brian Hall tried to take the drugs out of the UK.

David Noakes was sentenced to 15 months in prison and was disqualified from being a company director for eight years. Rodney Smith was sentenced to eight months in prison.

Emma Ward received six months in prison suspended for two years and was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work. Loraine Noakes received eight months in prison suspended for two years and was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

Kevin Hansford, of the CPS, said: “David Noakes and his co-defendants had a reckless disregard for patient safety.

“Noakes sold the expensive drug to people suffering with life threatening illnesses It was sold throughout Europe and made more than £10.2 million. Noakes lived a luxury lifestyle with the profits, using private aircrafts, buying a boat and renting luxury properties.

“The CPS produced evidence showing Noakes was marketing the medicine to sufferers through websites and YouTube videos where he claimed his product could rebuild the immune system and treat anything from acne to autism and cancer to AIDS. This strong evidence led to the convictions of these defendants.”

The CPS will now be pursuing David and Loraine Noakes’ profits under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Notes to editors

  • Kevin Hansford is a Unit Head in the Specialist Fraud Division at the Crown Prosecution Service
  • David Noakes (DOB 07/03/1953) pleaded guilty to two counts of manufacturing a medicinal product otherwise in accordance with a manufacturer’s licence, and two counts of selling or supplying a relevant medicinal product without a marketing authorisation and one count of money laundering
  • Brian Hall (DOB 18/01/1951) was convicted of having possession of an unauthorised medicinal product without a marketing authorisation
  • Loraine Noakes (DOB 20/09/1960) pleaded guilty to two counts of selling or supplying a relevant medicinal product without a marketing authorisation
  • Rodney Smith (DOB 04/12/1962) pleaded guilty to two counts of manufacturing a medicinal product otherwise than in accordance with a manufacturer’s licence, two counts of selling or supplying and/or offering to sell or supply relevant medicinal product without a marketing authorisation and one count of having possession of an unauthorised medicinal product without a marketing authorisation
  • Emma Ward (27/03/1974) pleaded guilty to two counts of manufacturing a medicinal product otherwise than in accordance with a manufacturer’s licence, two counts of selling or supplying and/or offering to sell or supply relevant medicinal product without a marketing authorisation and one count of having possession of an unauthorised medicinal product without a marketing authorisation
  • Macro Innovations Limited pleaded guilty to two counts of manufacturing a medicinal product otherwise in accordance with a manufacturer’s licence, two counts of selling or supplying a relevant medicinal product without a marketing authorisation and one count of money laundering.

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