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Pharmacists struck off for inventing 'phantom' employees

Mohammed Anwar Miah, registration number 2065399, and Hazrat Ali, registration number 2068629, recorded names of “phantom pharmacists” in their paperwork to avoid alerting the PCT

Two pharmacists have been struck off the register for inventing false employees to conceal low staffing levels at their 100-hour pharmacy.

 

Mohammed Anwar Miah, registration number 2065399, and Hazrat Ali, registration number 2068629, recorded names of "phantom pharmacists" in their paperwork to avoid alerting the PCT to their lack of employees, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) heard at a nine-day fitness-to-practise hearing that began on March 31.

 

The two pharmacists, who both held senior positions at the parent company of the 100-hour pharmacy in Birmingham, also "pressurised" an employee to act as one of the bogus pharmacists, the GPhC heard.

 

The GPhC noted that the pharmacists had not acted for financial gain but instead to conceal their "practically impossible" working hours. Although the regulator recognised each pharmacist had expressed remorse, it remained doubtful about their insight into their "devious and unscrupulous" behaviour.

 

 

Mohammed Anwar Miah, registration number 2065399, and Hazrat Ali, registration number 2068629, were found by the GPhC to have pressurised an employee to act as a bogus pharmacist

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Mr Ali and Mr Miah ran the company Inspired Outlook Ltd, which opened two pharmacies in the Birmingham area in 2011. Mr Ali was the only pharmacist in one of them – the 100-hour White Pearl Pharmacy in Sparkhill – to "save money and build up their business resources".

 

But the pair recorded the names of three other pharmacists in the responsible pharmacist log, standard operating procedures and PCT monitoring forms because of their fears that they were breaching European working hours legislation.

 

In March 2012, the GPhC received a complaint about the pharmacy dispensing methadone improperly, which prompted an inspector visit. The complaint was not upheld but the visit "opened a kind of Pandora's box", the GPhC heard.

 

There was no pharmacist present at the time of the visits because Mr Ali had gone home to look after his injured father, but a Mr Hameed was named on the responsible pharmacist notice. Mr Miah told an unqualified employee to pose as the "phantom pharmacist" Mr Hameed to avoid arousing the inspector's suspicions.

 

But the inspector was not satisfied and asked to see Mr Hameed again in April. Mr Ali and Mr Miah then held a "number of meetings" with the employee to convince him to pose as Mr Hameed for the next visit. The employee told the GPhC that Mr Ali in particular had threatened him with dismissal if he failed to comply and had pointed out he could risk a prison sentence for his involvement so far.

 

The employee's wife phoned the PCT to report the situation and the GPhC started an investigation. The pharmacists initially tried to "deceive and lie their way out of trouble" and used the fraudulent names weeks after the forgery was uncovered, the GPhC heard. But they eventually co-operated in September once the "game was up".

 

The GPhC said it had no grounds to believe the pharmacists were now fit to practise. Although it recognised Mr Miah "may have played a lesser role" in the some of the dishonesty, it condemned the pair's "prolonged and systematic dishonest practices" and ruled to strike them both off the register.

 

Read the full case here

 
What do you make of the ruling?
 
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12 Comments
Question: 
What do you make of the GPhC's ruling?

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

Shame they had to go to such lengths to keep their business afloat. 100 hour pharmacy contracts are a good idea and ideal for forming a pharmacist co-operative venture in the traditional format which could provide jobs and services if the members involved are willing to take reasonable wages and invest back into the co-oerative.

Calum Nelson, Locum pharmacist

I understand why people want to open pharmacies and go into business: to make more money. But what's the point of making more money if you're working an average of 14 hours a day? What are you going to do with it? By a big house that you'll never appreciate because you spend all your time there asleep? Provide for your kids who grow up never seeing one of their parents? Plan for the retirement you'll never see because you'll be dead from stress at 55?

And now they're making no money from pharmacy, because they've been struck off. They've learned the hard way that there's a difference between ambition and greed.

Harnek Chera, Community pharmacist

Bang on. There is a difference between ambition and greed. Unfortunately greed is a sickness at all levels of society. It overcomes rational behaviour and accepting fair reward. For some enough is never enough!

MESUT OZIL,

I wonder if this incident would have occured if there was the requirement to open a 100 hr Pharmacy compared to Normal 0900-1800.

The current status quo where the market has been closed and previous opportunities limiting to just 100 hr applications is partly to blame.

The whole system stinks from the behavior of the multiples to the treatment of locums in general.

The only transparrent way to operate the pharmacy market is to open the market and let market forces dictate the wiiners/loosers and not this current system where Pharmacies are propt up by establishment payments, practice payments, etc etc

VOTE UKIP!!

MESUT OZIL,

This sort of crap happens in both multiples/independents but very rarely do the GPHC investigate the multiples....

London Locum, Locum pharmacist

GPhC and the Multiples have a very close relationship I would hazard a guess.

MESUT OZIL,

2 weeks ago a customer of mine took a prescription to a 100hr pharmacy and it was dispensed by the technician and no Pharmacist was present. The patient informed me no checking was done by a pharmacist. It was for biovitamin d3 caps 5000 iu and the patient received the generic which is 90% cheaper...

Halal Butcher, Academic pharmacist

LOL!! Unlucky boys. Maybe justice been done after you cheated at Uni (by burgling the offices and stealing exam papers). Yeah we all know who else was involved and includes the "phantom pharmacist" as well as others. Hope the Aston Uni so called "Drs" & "Professors" are reading this as they knew what happened but didn't have the balls to do anything. Clearly these 2 were and still are deceitful liars at the top level.

Well done GPhC! Looks like these boys can carry on washing their Nissan Micras.

Must hurt Ali and Miah? Ouch, let me back onto the professional register Mr GPhC. I have kids to look after, I do charity work, I need to clean my Micra and I chat too much crappage.

Ciao and Good Riddance to ya both. BOOM!!!

Harnek Chera, Community pharmacist

This is the case in many a 100 hour pharmacy. Difficult to police such practice when the people monitoring this behaviour are working less than 40 hours themselves. Flaunting the regulations for financial gain. 100 hour pharmacies are awarded an NHS contract to provide NHS services for 100 hours per week. If it does not pay to have a pharmacist on duty 100 hours a week that should tell them something about the business model.

Super Locum,

I know at least one 100 hour pharmacy where the owner works 80hrs/week. This is a crazy situation.

In another 100 hour the pharmacy is supposed to be open straight through from Friday until Monday 24 hours, but the pharmacist who lives above the premises goes to bed. In the event of a patient attending they ring a bell, the pharmacist wakes up, comes downstairs in their pjs, dispenses the script and goes back to bed!

Crazy!

WAQAR AFZAL, Community pharmacist

Lol. They should introduce a new service..."sleep and dispense"

Old Timer, Manager

at least the pharmacist wears Pjs would have buy some if I did a locum there .

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