A pharmacist was today sentenced to 28 months in prison at the Birmingham Crown Court following an investigation by the MHRA.
In January, Sarfraz Hussain, 49, of Birmingham pleaded guilty to four counts of supplying Class C controlled drugs and three counts of possession of Class C drugs with intent to supply.
He admitted to supplying or intending to supply a total of 1,443,036 doses of controlled drugs with a street value calculated at between £854,000 and £1.4 million.
Hussain, who operated three pharmacies out of Small Heath, Erdington and Halsowen, never held a Home Office Controlled Drugs licence that allows someone to trade, import or export controlled drugs. Despite this, Hussain still ordered large amounts of Class C drugs from legitimate suppliers, prompting the MHRA to inspect his Erdington pharmacy.
When initially questioned about the orders, Hussain denied any wrongdoing, before further investigations revealed that from August 2015 to September 2016 he unlawfully supplied 31,537 packs of Class C drugs, including Zopiclone, Diazepam, Nitrazepam, Zolpidem and Zopiclone.
MHRA enforcement officers seized 560,000 Diazepam, Nitrazepam and Zopiclone tablets from Hussain’s three pharmacies.
Mark Jackson, MHRA Head of Enforcement said:
“It is a serious criminal offence to sell controlled drugs which are also prescription-only medicines without a prescription.
“We work relentlessly with regulatory and law enforcement colleagues to identify and prosecute those involved.
“Those who sell medicines illegally are exploiting vulnerable people and have no regard for their health. Prescription-only medicines are potent and should only be taken under medical supervision.”