Medications and doping preparations

The amount of medications and doping preparations seized increased in 2023,

when 8,081 illegal consignments of medications and doping preparations were removed from circulation and seized by the FOCBS. This was 3.5% more than in 2022 (2022: 7,806; 2023: 8,081). These consignments present health risks for individuals, as the products often arrive without packaging or instructions, have incorrect doses or contain undeclared ingredients.

The FOCBS checks whether the medications are approved or compliant, and whether the authorised amount for a month's treatment of one person has been respected. If a suspect consignment is detected, the FOCBS informs Swissmedic and seizes the goods. For doping preparations, by contrast, the "zero tolerance" rule applies. In 2023, 6,659 consignments were reported to Swissmedic.

Detections (number of consignments)





Medications and doping preparations




of which, medications reported to Swissmedic




Erectile dysfunction drugs accounted for 71% of all medication consignments seized once again last year. In 2023, 43% of the medications seized came from India, whereas in 2022 shipments from India accounted for only 9% of intercepted consignments.

Main medications seized:

  • Erectile dysfunction drugs (71%)
  • Sleeping tablets and tranquillisers (7%)
  • Hormones (incl. melatonin) (5%)
  • Nasal sprays and laxatives (5%)
  • Antibiotics, antiparasitics, antivirals (2%)
  • Painkillers (1%)
  • Other (9%)

Origin of seized medications

  • India (43%)
  • Eastern Europe (17%)
  • Asia (excl. India) (16%)
  • Western Europe (16%)
  • Other (8%)
Medications may only be imported for personal use in the quantity equivalent to monthly requirements.
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