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GPhC suspends three pharmacists implicated in BBC POM exposé

People The GPhC has issued 18-month interim suspension orders for three pharmacists implicated by BBC London's Inside Out exposé, which allegedly showed the pharmacists selling POMs illegally over the counter

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has suspended three pharmacists implicated in BBC London's Inside Out investigation into the alleged illegal sale of prescription medicines.

Chawan Shaida (registration number 2051633) of Bin-Seena Pharmacy in Westminster, Hussain Jamal Rasool (registration number 2068258) of Al Farabi Pharmacy, Westminster, and Murtaza Gulamhusein (registration number 2029954) of Curie Chemists, Westminster, have each been given 18-month interim suspension orders, the GPhC announced today (January 17).

The GPhC said it was continuing to investigate the other pharmacists implicated in the programme

More on the BBC exposé

GPhC vows to investigate pharmacists in BBC exposé

Pharmacists under fire as BBC exposé uncovers       illegal POM sales

Pharmacists defend profession after BBC exposé

Explaining that interim orders were held in private, the regulator said: "The fitness-to-practise committee does not make decisions on the facts of the allegations in these hearings, but instead considers if it is necessary for the protection of the public, in the public interest, or in the interests of the pharmacy professional concerned to make an interim order for suspension from the register, or impose conditions on the pharmacy professional's registration, during the investigation and before a full fitness-to-practise hearing."

The GPhC added that it was "liaising closely with the police and MHRA and investigations into the allegations raised are ongoing".

It told C+D it was continuing to investigate the other pharmacists implicated in the programme, aired a month ago (December 17), which accused nine pharmacies in west London of selling prescription medicines including diazepam without prescription.

C+D understands that the BBC may broadcast news of the three suspensions on BBC News London tonight  (January 17) at 6.30pm.

At the time of the BBC exposé, C+D readers condemned the pharmacists implicated, saying they did not represent the majority of the profession.

What do you make of the GPhC's move?

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Samuel Jacobs, Community pharmacist

Another Witch Hunt to try to discredit the profession !

Dodo pharmacist, Community pharmacist

why only 3 pharmacists suspended when nine pharmacies were involved? have the others got away with it?

Tom Jerry, Community pharmacist

Pure Propaganda, chemists should be allowed to sell POM after consultation rather than patients sourcing such items over the internet or the shop down the ally in the high street, Patient protection can only be achieved if patinets when choosing to self medicate can obtain appropriate medication from legitimate sources like the chemist on the high street, and the GPhC will continue to put patients safety at risk by not allowing pharmacists to fully utilise their professional knowledge..........

Mark Ashmore, Superintendent Pharmacist

Tom Jerry's comments are hardly relevant to the selling of Temazepam or Oramorph even if I do have some sympathy with respect to Amoxicillin which is given out like sweeties in many GP surgeries.

Tom Jerry, Community pharmacist

...........Bottom line is either us pharmacists are shop keepers or professionals with autonomy!

Amal England, Public Relations

We need to move away from this shopkeeper label, to do that we need to start selling POMs, obviously I mean via legal avenues, ie the law needs to change, but doctors are preventing this. I disagree with what these pharmacists did, but if many pharmacists started to sell POMs, upon adequate training, maybe the doctors will learn and eventually shut up.

Tom Jerry, Community pharmacist

Mind you I already sell CD's OTC e.g. codeine linctus, so Mark I think your mising the point, I believe there sould not be a POM catergory all together instead pharmacists reprimanded for inappropriate supplies, and patients safety protected by both a supply model with integrity and pharmacists expert knowledge of drugs

Zainab Umar, Other pharmacy staff

When was the programme on? Before I make judgement I'd like to actually see what happened and what the circumstances were?!

Ronald Jarrett, Other pharmacist

Ha Ha !!

Ryszard Cygan, Superintendent Pharmacist

Which planet have you been on for the last 6 weeks?

Jennifer Richardson, Editorial

Hi Zainab, if you click on the link 'Pharmacists under fire as BBC exposé uncovers illegal POM sales' above, it will take you to C+D's original story on the programme, which includes a link to the relevant BBC material.

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

Well a bit of drama on the Beeb....better than Eastenders!

Barry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Sadly this is real life drama not fictional.
It is very heartening to hear that such swift action has been taken. I hope that the others involved are tracked down swiftly too.
I would have preferred to know what progress the GPhC was making in terms of it's investigations but I praise them for doing what they have so quickly.

Leon The Apothecary, Student

I'm curious to know when the BBC became more reliable then official inspectors personally.

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