World news wrapup: 12 October 2017

UK pharmacist jailed on terrorism charge; seven-month suspension following dispensing error death; Philippine pharmacists demand justice for slain colleague

Nottingham, UK: A Leicester pharmacist has been jailed for six years after he was convicted of disseminating “terrorist propaganda” to a child, the Birmingham Mail reports.

Zameer Ghumra showed a graphic Twitter video to a young boy on his phone, the Court heard, as part of a bid to “brainwash” two children. The video depicted a beheading.

The Court heard that Mr Ghumra also instructed in the children in bomb attack survival and knife combat and asked them if they wanted to join Islamic State or recruit others. The children’s mother told the Court during the trial that she had heard her sons discussing blowing themselves up.

Mr Ghumra, who worked as a pharmacist in Oundle before his arrest, also told a patient that IS were “not bad people – they’re only defending themselves,” the Court heard.

The prosecution’s Sue Hemming said that “Zameer Ghumra tried to brainwash impressionable children with this violent ideology by making one watch beheading videos and urging them both to adopt a hard-line religious outlook.

“The CPS case was that he intended to radicalise them in the hope that they would go on to be involved in terrorism.

“The children were brave to give evidence and we would like to thank them for helping to secure this conviction of a dangerous man.”


Antrim, Northern Ireland: Martin White, the pharmacist whose patient died after he made a dispensing error, has had his registration suspended for seven months, Chemist + Druggist reports.

In December 2016, Mr White had been sentenced to four months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years.

Ethna Walsh, 67, died in 2014 after Mr White mistakenly dispensed propranolol instead of prednisolone 40mg.

Mr White said that he was overworked and suffered from cramped working conditions, and told police that he was seeing a GP at the time of the error about his low mood and fatigue. The two boxes also looked alike and were side by side on the shelf, he said.

A Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI) statutory committee heard that during his employment, until his resignation in January 2016, Mr White had been told by his employer not to conduct accuracy checks.

The Committee noted that there was “no evidence that Mr White had acted in a deliberate, reckless or wilful fashion when he dispensed the wrong medication” and that a requirement for medicines to be checked by a second person had been introduced only days before the error took place, not leaving enough time to establish standard operating procedures.

However Mr White failed to offer counselling, even though this was the first time the patient had been prescribed prednisolone.

Mr White did not engage with the committee and has indicated that he will never practise again.


Philippines: The Philippine Pharmacists Association is seeking justice for a pharmacist who was slain when she refused to dispense antibiotics, reports the Business Mirror.

Drugstore owner and pharmacist Loigene Geronimo was shot and killed by a lone gunman after he demanded prescription drugs without a script.

PPA spokespeople said that Ms Geronimo was “just doing her job” and asked authorities to speed up their investigation.

Pharmacists also expressed their condolences and concerns at the #justiceforloigene hashtag, with several pointing out the importance of adhering to dispensing rules.


Tampa, Florida: A hospital pharmacist is facing charges of sexual battery after a woman said he drugged and raped her following a Tinder date.

Robert Woods, who has been a pharmacist at Tampa’s St Joseph’s Hospital since July 2017, told the victim he was having a party and brought her back to his empty flat, arrest documents allege. He then allegedly gave the woman a shot, after which she lost consciousness. She said she later woke up naked in his bed.

Mr Woods allegedly told the woman he had had sex with her while she was passed out. She went to hospital and later found what seemed to be injection sites on her neck.

Police acting on a search warrant found “several types of pills and prescription drugs and numerous hypodermic syringes,” reports ABC Action News WFTS Tampa Bay.

Many of the pills were found in unmarked prescription bottles and clear plastic bags.

A spokesperson for St Joseph’s hospital told ABC News that the allegations were being taken seriously, but would not comment on whether the medicines had been sourced from the hospital, or any action the hospital might take against Mr Woods.


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