World news wrapup: 13 December 2018

Jail for pharmacist who traded oxycodone for sex; hidden camera pharmacist facing new charges; Brits to ditch “archaic” fax machines

Baltimore, Maryland: Former pharmacist Richard Daniel Hiller has been sentenced to 40 months’ jail for trading oxycodone for sex.

AJC reports that the former pharmacist also received a sentence of three years’ supervised release, and a fine of US$15,000 (AUD$20,822).

The Maryland US Attorney’s office said that Mr Hiller filled fraudulent scripts between January 2014 and February 2017, dispensing around 20,500 15mg oxycodone pills to several women. The women then on-sold a large number of the pills.

Mr Hiller also told two of the women to come to the pharmacy before it opened, and had sex with them in the pharmacy’s back room on a number of occasions.

He gave oxycodone to a third woman with no valid script in exchange for nude photographs and videos of herself. When she refused to have sex with him, he contacted her doctors and told them that she was fraudulently obtaining scripts for the opioid.

“Hiller abused his position of trust and exploited women who were addicted to oxycodone to obtain sexual favours,” said US Attorney Robert K. Hur.


Portland, Oregon: Johnny Tuck Chee Chan, the former pharmacist who allegedly filmed a number of people without their knowledge at his workplace, is facing 33 new charges.

Fox 12 Oregon reports that Mr Chan was arrested last month, and pleaded not guilty to 71 charges regarding allegations that he used hidden cameras to record 51 people, including a child, at the Kaiser Permanente Airport Way Centre pharmacy supply and lab.

Now the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office says it has identified another 27 victims who were covertly recorded at the workplace.

Mr Chan is now facing an additional three counts of first-degree encouraging child sexual abuse, three counts of second-degree encouraging child sexual abuse, 25 counts of first-degree invasion of personal privacy, and two counts of second-degree invasion of personal privacy.

After leaving Kaiser Permanente Mr Chan had taken a job at a Banana Republic store, where a hidden camera was found in the employee-only bathroom.

None of the victims were members of the public.


UK: Pharmacies are expected to ban all fax machines by 2020, reports Chemist + Druggist.

The UK’s health secretary, Matt Hancock, has directed the NHS to remove the machines from use by the end of March 2020, with primary care providers, including pharmacies, expected to do the same.

From January 2019, NHS trusts will not be permitted to purchase new fax machines.

Instead, organisations will be expected to use “modern communication methods, such as secure email, to improve patient safety and cyber security”.

Mr Hancock says that it is important to bring the NHS into the 21st century.

“We’ve got to get the basics right, like having computers that work and getting rid of the archaic fax machines still used across the NHS, when everywhere else got rid of them years ago.”

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