The 34-year-old woman from Cambridge was arrested on August 8 on suspicion of fraud after impersonating a General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) inspector and conducting fake inspections of a Boots branch in Grafton Centre, Cambridge on August 3 and a Lloydspharmacy in Burwell on August 7, Cambridgeshire Police confirmed to C+D last week (August 15).
A “small quantity” of painkillers was taken from the Boots branch during the inspection, the police said.
The suspect had already visited two GP practices in the area the previous month, pretending to be a Care Quality Commission official, Cambridgeshire Police said.
The suspect has been “released under investigation”, they added.
“Check visitors’ ID”
The police have encouraged pharmacies to save any CCTV footage and contact them if they believe the suspect visited their premises.
The GPhC told C+D the responsible pharmacist should always check an inspector’s ID and can contact the regulator if they are unsure of the person’s identity.
“In a small number of cases, we do conduct inspections outside of office hours. In these cases [pharmacists] can also check the contact details of the inspector on our website,” it added.
Lloydspharmacy told C+D that following the incident, it has communicated to all its pharmacy teams “the importance of being vigilant and to always check the ID of any visitors”.
It also encouraged pharmacy staff to contact the GPhC if they are unsure if an inspector is genuine.