Inter Care warned over African aid

Medical charity Inter Care has been let off with a caution by the Environment Agency after it was told its practice of sending in-date, unopened medicines to clinics in Africa was illegal.

It was told by the agency at the end of last year that its directors could go to prison for collecting unused prescription medicines, which the agency said should be disposed of in landfill sites (Third Sector, 25 October).

Margaret Macdonald, chief executive of Inter Care, and a representative of the charity's trustees had to attend an interview under caution with agency officials.

Macdonald warned supporters that Inter Care could be forced to close after 32 years of sending unopened medicines to African states.

But she and the charity's trustees will not be prosecuted. They are confident the charity will resume normal activities later this year after the Environment Agency said it could apply for special licences to continue its work.

"The agency has invited us to apply for licensing," said Carol Austin, resource manager at Inter Care.

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