A pharmacist has been sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment after he sold hundreds of thousands of doses of drugs of addiction onto the black market
The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency issued a statement about Balkeet Singh Khaira, who worked at his mother’s pharmacy – the Khaira Pharmacy – in West Bromwich.
Mr Khaira pleaded guilty to five counts of supplying controlled class C drugs at Birmingham Crown Court in February.
MHRA began an investigation following allegations that the pharmacy was selling large quantities of prescription-only medicine without a prescription.
When contacted about the investigation by the General Pharmaceutical Council, Mr Khaira pretended to be his mother and said he was “shocked and blindsided” by the accusations. He then went on provide falsified evidence intended to disprove the allegations.
When police visited the pharmacy, they found records which showed that of hundreds of thousands of doses of diazepam, nitrazepam, tramadol, zolpidem and zopiclone purchased from wholesalers, only a small percentage had been dispensed against prescription.
This left more than 800,000 pills unaccounted for that Mr Khaira later admitted he had sold to drug dealers.
According to MHRA, he made more than £59,000 (AUD$105,227) from these black market sales.
While Mr Khaira admitted to the charges, he claimed that after making one voluntary sale to drug dealers, he made the other sales under threat of violence. He also refused to give police information on the identity of the people involved.
His registration to practise pharmacy had been suspended by the GPhC so that he could not do so while waiting for his case to come to court.
MHRA stressed that Ms Khaira, the owner of the pharmacy, was not involved in any of the criminal activity.
“It is a serious criminal offence to sell controlled, unlicensed or prescription-only medicines in this way,” said Grant Powell, the MHRA enforcement officer who led the case.
“Anyone who sells medicines illegally could be exploiting vulnerable people and clearly has no regard for their health or welfare. Prescription only medicines are potent and should only be taken under medical supervision.”