World news wrapup: 3 October 2019


Homicide cops investigate death after pharmacy allegedly supplies tainted glucose solution; undercover reporter gets opioids without scripts; pharmacist crowned Miss Thailand

Cologne, Germany: Homicide investigators are looking into the death of a 28-year-old pregnant woman and her baby after a pharmacy gave her a toxic solution.

The woman was given a glucose-based solution to test for gestational diabetes, which she drank.

According to Iamexpat.de, the solution, given to the woman by the Heilig Geist Apotheke in the Longerich district, contained a toxic ingredient which “is available in pharmacies, but had no business being in the glucose mixture”.

Media report that it is unknown whether or not the toxic substance was added intentionally.

The substance has not been identified, but an autopsy determined that the victim died from multiple organ failure.

While doctors attempted to save the baby, they were unsuccessful.

Authorities forced the immediate closure of three Cologne pharmacies, including the Heilig Geist Apotheke, and told locals not to take any glucose-based products from the pharmacy in question, but to bring them to police instead.

The pharmacy’s owner, Till Fuxius, told media that he was “stunned” by the news and that he was a witness, not the accused. He said he hoped the investigation would result in answers.

 

UK: A British journalist has reportedly been able to buy codeine and dihydrocodeine from five pharmacies without a script.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has, according to the Pharmaceutical Journal, called for an “urgent” investigation after the undercover reporter, from the Times, managed to get the opioids from five online pharmacies, without having their GP contacted at all.

The journalist reportedly obtained medicines including 200 tablets of 30mg dihydrocodeine and 100 tablets of 30mg codeine simply by filling in a questionnaire online and sending a photograph of their passport.

They reportedly did not agree to any contact with their GP, but the drugs were sent anyway.

The report claims that the pharmacy which sent the 200 dihydrocodeine tablets also let the journalist buy more of the same drug the next day.

Neal Patel, head of corporate communications at the RPS, said the report was “concerning”.

“I would expect a full and urgent investigation by regulators. In our view, an online consultation should meet the same standards as a face-to-face consultation.”

 

Bangkok, Thailand: Pharmacist Sireethorn Leigharamwat has been named Miss Thailand 2019, from a pageant originally including 39 contestants.

As part of the interview component of the competition, Ms Leigharamwat was asked to name the most significant factor in drug problems around the world, to which she replied “teen curiosity,” according to The Star.

“Schools should teach them the effects and consequences of using drugs,” she said.

“It’s vital to let them know how their future will be affected if they dare to try.”

Ms Leigharamwat won one million baht (AUD$48,590) as well as a crown and sash.

 

Mumbai, India: A pharmacist has been arrested and accused of rape, India Today reports.

Police have registered a case against Junaid Ansari, a 30-year-old pharmacist, for allegedly raping a government officer who is based in the UK, but who had travelled to India to see relatives.

Police allege that he met the woman in the pharmacy he owned, when she presented to buy fertility medicines; and that the victim’s mother would buy medicines at the shop and sent them to the UK.

They say the two met and became friends, and that the pharmacist first promised to marry her, then changed his mind.

He allegedly found her alone, took her for a drive and raped her in his car.

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