No suspension after self-supplying testosterone

A pharmacist has escaped suspension after supplying testosterone to himself without a prescription

Kameel Anton, from Maribyrnong in Victoria, has pled guilty to a charge of professional misconduct after facing disciplinary allegations brought by the Pharmacy Board.

He had previously pled guilty in the Magistrate’s Court after he was found to have “irregularities” in his supply of testosterone during a routine Department of Health inspection.

Between May 2008 and November 2011, Anton supplied testosterone to himself without a prescription to treat a medical condition.

He also filed scripts brought to him by a customer for “excessive” amounts of testosterone without reporting this to the Department, according to documents from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

The tribunal noted that Anton had seen a specialist for his medical condition and was now legitimately accessing a similar medicine to treat it.

“The circumstances in which he self-administered were that he was worn down from working very long hours at his independent pharmacy,” it noted.

“In relation to the supply of testosterone to his customer, Mr Anton admitted in his discussions with the Department that on the face of it, the presentation of the scripts was suspicious.

“He should have followed this up and notified the Department. Instead, he simply supplied the testosterone – over a significant period.

“While this is not a case of supplying testosterone in very large quantities, and it was only supplied in a non-compliant manner to one customer, the amount was clearly well in excess of what would be legitimately prescribed for an individual.”

The tribunal noted that this volume of testosterone was more in line with the amount which a single person using it ‘off patent’, such as a bodybuilder, would consume.

“Self-administration and supply of excessive quantities of testosterone to a customer over a period of more than three years is inconsistent with the practitioner being fit and proper to hold registration,” the tribunal noted.

“Pharmacists are at the front line in terms of protecting the community from abuse of drugs of dependence, and drugs known to be abused, such as testosterone.

“The implications of Mr Anton’s conduct are that the protection the public needs and expects from persons who hold the respected position of pharmacists in the community, was not provided in this instance. The reputation of the profession has been harmed.

“If other pharmacists  behaved in the way Mr Anton did, the uncontrolled use of these drugs would proliferate, causing serious harm in the community.”

However the Pharmacy Board highlighted that the conduct had not continued, and it did not contend that Anton is now unfit to be a pharmacist.

Anton was publicly reprimanded and conditions were placed on his registration requiring him to participate in a mentoring regime, which he is required to pay for.

“In all the circumstances it is not necessary to interfere with Mr Anton’s right to practise pharmacy,” the tribunal noted.

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