Layer 1

Pharmacist suspended for possessing ecstasy at festival

Mr Bienczak, 2064423, told the GPhC he would strive to be the "gatekeeper of drugs, not the misuser"

Andrzej Marek Bienczak, registration number 2064423, was caught with illegal drugs at a music festival, the General Pharmaceutical Council heard

A pharmacist has been suspended from the register for three months for possession of ecstasy and a class C drug.

Andrzej Marek Bienczak, registration number 2064423, was stopped by police at a music festival in London in May 2013 and found to be carrying ecstasy and solvent gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) heard at a fitness-to-practise hearing on May 29.

The regulator said it was clear Mr Bienczak “bitterly regretted” his actions and noted that he had no previous disciplinary history.

But it stressed that his possession of illegal drugs “even on one occasion” had “clearly brought the profession into disrepute”.

Mr Bienczak, who has worked as a locum in the UK and is currently researching pharmacometrics at the University of Cape Town, attended the As One music festival in Victoria Park, London where he was stopped by police. He said the drugs were for his personal use and reported the incident to the GPhC within seven days, the regulator heard.

He told the hearing that he recognised his actions were “wrong and reprehensible, and I am ashamed of them”. Mr Bienczak stressed he would in future always strive to “be the gatekeeper of drugs, not the misuser”.

"A foolish moment"

The GPhC noted Mr Bienczak’s actions were a “single, isolated incident”, which he referred to as a “foolish moment” he hoped would not ruin his career.

It was to Mr Bienczak’s credit that he had engaged in the fitness-to-practise process and had attended the hearing, flying from Washington to be present, it said. It had also received six testimonials which spoke "very highly" of Mr Bienczak, it added.

But the GPhC said pharmacists were “clearly in a special and onerous position when it comes to the prohibited use of drugs” and stressed those working in the profession should “set an example to the public in the context of drug abuse".

Issuing Mr Bienczak with a warning would not “send out a strong enough message”, while removing him from the register would be “disproportionate”, it said. It ruled to suspend him for three months.

Read the full determination here.


What do you think of the GPhC's ruling?

We want to hear your views, but please express them in the spirit of a constructive, professional debate. For more information about what this means, please click here to see our community principles and information


Dilip Tailor, Community pharmacist

I think this person should have only be cautioned as he willingly came forward. This might deter other people from willingly ....... ?

Miracure Pharmacist, Work for a health/commissioning consultancy company

disproportionate ???????????????????

Miracure Pharmacist, Work for a health/commissioning consultancy company

ill use this example to present to the courts ........... why i cant get a job for theft at 18 whilst a student and this guy only gets a suspension not even striking off.....

Miracure Pharmacist, Work for a health/commissioning consultancy company

hang on , why didnt he get a criminal record ? thats a serious offence ?????

Andrzej Bienczak, Pharmacist

FYI: I was issued with a police caution..

London Locum, Locum pharmacist

With wages falling off the proverbial cliff dealing in illegal/illicit drugs will soon become a lot more common in pharmacists and not just locums/employees.

London Locum, Locum pharmacist

He's already left the country to better himself. Why hang around here earning min wage??

John Randell, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

moral banker you get to do what ever drugs in your personal life and earn more money... AND if the police catch wont mean you lose your job and form on income

Ryszard Cygan, Superintendent Pharmacist

Article from 16th Dec 2011 - "Pharmacist Sameed Abdulkarim Damji, registration number 2069571, has been given a warning by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) after being found in possession of cocaine by police while on a night out with friends". Lack of consistency??

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Spot on Cygan. And this decision after being lenient on last few cases, absolutely makes no sense. And this chap travelled several times from a foreign destination !!!

Job of the week

Pre-registration Pharmacists 2021
London (South), London (Greater)
Competitive package