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Two pharmacists sentenced to two years for illegally supplying Class C Drugs

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They unlawfully supplied over 55 million doses of Class C drugs diazepam, zolpidem, and zopiclone

Southwark Crown Court on Thursday sentenced two pharmacists to two years imprisonment each, suspended for 24 months, after they were found guilty of selling ‘industrial’ quantities of Class C controlled drugs.

Mandip Sidhu (47) of Littleover, Derby and Nabeil Nasr (42) of Cheadle, Greater Manchester, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing following an investigation by the Criminal Enforcement Unit of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA).

Both Sidhu and Nasr were pharmacists registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council at the time of the offenses, which took place between May 2013 and June 2017. Sidhu was the director of Pharmaceutical Health Limited (PHL) in Derby, while Nasr owned several pharmacies across the North West of England.

Sidhu was sentenced to two years imprisonment on each of five counts of supplying Class C drugs and four months for forgery, all to run concurrently and suspended for 24 months. Additionally, she must complete 200 hours of community service for her role in the illegal supply of diazepam, zolpidem, and zopiclone.

Nasr was given a two-year prison sentence for each of two counts of supplying Class C drugs, diazepam and zopiclone, and one year for each of two counts of wholesale dealing without a wholesale licence. He has also been suspended for 24 months on the condition that he completes 200 hours of community service.

They unlawfully supplied over 55 million doses of Class C controlled drugs, with more than 47 million of those doses being diazepam.

Andy Morling, MHRA Deputy Director (Criminal Enforcement), stated that the sentencing followed a thorough and complex investigation conducted by their Criminal Enforcement Unit.

Sidhu also pleaded guilty to a forgery charge, admitting she made a false invoice to mislead an MHRA inspector into believing the medicines had been sold to a company outside the European Economic Area.

The court heard that PHL, the company where Sidhu was a director, purchased 4.27 million tablets in August 2014 and 4.5 million tablets in March 2015, despite not having legally dispensed any medicines against a prescription since July 19, 2013.

To legally trade in these medicines, pharmacists or wholesale business owners are required to possess a Home Office Controlled Drug Licence (HOCDL). Additionally, the licence must be endorsed by the MHRA before it can be used to buy or sell drugs in high quantities. Despite holding various licences for their work as pharmacists, neither Sidhu nor Nasr held an HOCDL, according to MHRA.

 

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