A Dudley-pharmacist has received 28 months in prison sentence at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Monday for illegally supplying Class B and Class C controlled drugs worth £280,490 on the black market.
Jasper Ojela, 56, pleaded guilty on November 1, 2019, following an investigation by the Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
The investigators found that Ojela, who owns a pharmacy in Dudley, illegally supplied opiate painkillers, tranquillisers and medications intended for cancer treatment that are abused by bodybuilders to counteract the unwanted effects of other hormone medications.
Between February and September 2016, Ojela illegally supplied over 200,000 doses of these drugs, which he purchased from two different wholesales.
The doubts started when UK-based pharmaceutical wholesaler A1 Pharma reported MHRA that during an audit they found the sale of ‘controlled drugs’ had not been recorded as such within the company’s management system.
MHRA’s investigation found evidence suggesting that the drugs supplied by A1 Pharma were purchased by criminal groups.
These groups illegally diverted medicines from the regulated supply chain by cloning the identity of genuine pharmaceutical companies located overseas and licensed pharmacies.
Inspectors noticed Ojela’s pharmacy purchasing large quantities of Controlled drugs from wholesalers, a lot more than the normal amount a pharmacy legitimately dispenses against prescription.
Ojela admitted to police that he was paid by criminal associates operating in the black market and supplied drugs whilst knowing that he did not hold necessary licences.
“It is a serious criminal offence to sell controlled drugs which are also prescription-only medicines without a prescription,” said Mark Jackson, MHRA Head of Enforcement. “We work relentlessly with regulatory and law enforcement colleagues to identify and prosecute those involved. ”
In addition to the prosecution and prison sentence, Ojela is also facing court action from MHRA to recover the proceeds of his offering and disciplinary proceedings by the General Pharmaceutical Council.