World news wrapup: 22 June 2017

British pharmacist sold drugs on the street; Nigerian jailed for impersonating pharmacist; seniors pharmacy assistant push in Japan

Essex, UK: A British pharmacist has been jailed for stealing prescription drugs and selling them on the street

Niren Patel, from Ilford in Essex, appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court and pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud by abuse of a position of trust, possession with intent to supply a Class B drug and five counts of possession to supply a Class C drug.

Police began an investigation into Mr Patel’s activities after his employer, Day Lewis Pharmacy in Hornchurch, reported a theft to the police.

Niren Patel. Image: Metropolitan Police

An analysis of stock records and drugs purchased by Mr Patel revealed that he had created fraudulent orders for almost £5,000 worth of prescription medicine.

In his police interview, Mr Patel admitted he had sold the drugs, including the growth hormone Genotropin, to a member of the public on the street.

Other drugs sold by Mr Patel included the Class B drug Dexamfetamine, and Class C drugs such as Xanax, Zolpidem and Diazepam.

“Patel abused his position as a pharmacist by creating fraudulent orders for prescription drugs and then sold them on the street,” said Detective Constable Beverley McInerney of the Met’s Organised Crime Command.

“The drugs he sold are highly addictive and dangerous when given to someone without a prescription.”

Mr Patel was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment.


Obu, Japan: Sugi Pharmacy, a chain based in Obu, Aichi Prefecture, has created a new kind of job contract for older workers to both help them stay fitter and in employment longer, and help solve the company’s staffing shortage.

The Japan Times reports that Sugi launched a small-scale pilot in Nishio and Hekinan, and now hopes to expand it to 100 stores around Aichi Prefecture, ultimately employing up to 500 seniors.

The pilot involves offering flexible work conditions as stock clerks, allowing workers to set their own pace and schedule, including leaving early if they are tired. The company does not supervise how quickly they work.

The project is part of the Lively Senior Club Project, which supports healthy people aged 65 and over.

A spokesperson said the project was unprecedented in the retail sector.

“Our main goal is to extend the healthy life expectancy of the elderly. I want them to work with us for as long as they can,” said Katsunori Sugiura, president of Sugi Pharmacy.


Lagos, Nigeria: A pharmacy attendant has been jailed for five years for stealing a pharmacist’s certificate and impersonating a pharmacist.

Chohwora Anthony pleaded guilty to impersonating pharmacist Makanjuola Mogbonjuola
Emmanuel, also forged a pharmacist’s licence and used it to look for jobs, a Lagos court heard.

The case was reported by Abiola Ozieh, chairman of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, Lagos State branch. Mrs Ozieh reported that Mr Anthony had attended an Association meeting, introduced himself as Mr Emmanuel, and said he was looking for a job as a pharmacist.

“It then dawned on the complainant that he is the fake pharmacist, who has been parading himself with different identities, duping people of huge sums of money,” prosecutor Sgt Lucky Ihiehie told the court.


UK: The UK’s new shadow health minister is more determined than ever to challenge funding cuts to the community pharmacy sector, she has told the Pharmaceutical Journal.

Source: Julie Cooper/Pharmaceutical Journal

Julie Cooper said that despite not at the time knowing who would become the new Pharmacy Minister (at the time of writing this is suggested to be Jackie Doyle-Price or Steve Brine), she would honour her commitment to stop the £170m cuts to pharmacy.

“The fact that the Conservative Party will now rule with a minority government makes it far easier for the shadow health team to challenge the cuts to community pharmacy and the flawed STPs [sustainability and transformation plans] and you can be sure my colleagues and I will take every opportunity to do so,” Ms Cooper told the Journal.

“I fully appreciate the value of community pharmacies and my very strong view is that rather than cutting budgets and risking closure, we should work with the professional bodies to further develop the role of community pharmacy within the primary care sector.

“I believe that supporting community pharmacies to further extend the range of services will lead to a more efficient service that both delivers savings, relieves pressure on the wider NHS and, most importantly, improves the patient experience.”

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