BBC London drug probe: Two more pharmacists suspended

  • 10 April 2013
  • From the section London

Two more London pharmacists caught illegally selling addictive drugs by a BBC investigation have been suspended.

Last December, the BBC's Inside Out found nine chemists selling potentially dangerous and addictive drugs over the counter, with no prescription.

In total, five pharmacists have been suspended by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

A separate investigation by the Metropolitan Police is still under way.

The nine pharmacies sold undercover reporters Valium, opiates and other controlled drugs without prescription.

It is illegal for pharmacists to sell prescription-only drugs without a prescription - unless it is a medical emergency.

A spokeswoman for the independent regulator GPhC said Rafif Sarheed, of Al Farabi Pharmacy, and Paul Edward Healy, of Al-Razi Pharmacy, faced hearings by the Fitness to Practise Committee on Monday.

Both pharmacists had year-long suspensions imposed.

At Al Farabi Pharmacy in Paddington, west London, the BBC was able to buy Oramorph, Diazepam, Viagra and amoxicillin.

At Al-Razi Pharmacy, also in Paddington, Viagra and amoxicillin were bought.

Mr Healy said he denied the allegations.

The pharmacies remain open to the public.

In January, three pharmacists were suspended: Chawan Shaida of Bin Seena Pharmacy, Hussain Jamal Rasool of Al Farabi Pharmacy - both in Paddington - and Murtaza Gulamhusein from Curie Pharmacy in Maida Vale.

During the BBC investigation, over a few weeks, researchers bought 288 Valium tablets, 21 temazepam tablets, 294 amoxicillin tablets, 24 Viagra tablets and one bottle of Oramorph, by making simple requests.

After viewing the footage, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said he was "lost for words".

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