UK pharmacists implicated in illegal drug sales suspended

Pharmacy imageThe UK's General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has suspended three pharmacists implicated in last month's expose of illegal diversion of prescription medicines.

The case hit the headlines after the BBC's Inside Out programme revealed that undercover reporters were sold benzodiazepines, opioid analgesics, antibiotics and other prescription-only and controlled medicines at pharmacies in London.

Chawan Shaida, Hussain Jamal Rasool and Murtaza Gulamhusein have been suspended temporarily from practicing for 18 months while criminal investigations into the case continue by police and Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The GPhC said at the time the allegations came to light that: "patients can be put at serious risk if they are supplied with prescription-only medicines unlawfully, without having a consultation with a health professional who is qualified to prescribe."

The regulatory authority told Chemist & Druggist that it does not make decisions on the facts of the allegations in such cases, but it is able to order suspensions "if it is necessary for the protection of the public, in the public interest, or in the interests of the pharmacy professional concerned".

Viewpoint: Pharmacists caught illegally selling drugs

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