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Professional regulation

Another pharmacist struck off after BBC investigation

A pharmacist was struck off on 19 September 2014 when a General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) fitness-to-practise committee dismissed her claim that she believed a prescription existed when she supplied prescription-only medicines to a BBC undercover reporter.

Rafif Sarheed is the fourth pharmacist to be investigated by the GPhC after a BBC Inside Out documentary aired in 2012.

Sarheed was filmed selling amoxicillin, Viagra and diazepam to a reporter posing as a patient on 27 September 2012 at a pharmacy in Edgware Road, London.

Later, in April 2013, CCTV footage at the pharmacy showed her making a false entry in the pharmacy’s communications book that was intended to deceive investigators into believing that the entry had been made on 27 September 2012.

Sarheed’s defence was that her superintendent pharmacist, Hussain Jamal Rasool, had told her that he was in possession of a prescription for the drugs and that a patient would come into the pharmacy to request them, but the committee did not believe her. (As a result of a separate case, Rasool has also been struck off following the BBC sting.)

Ordering her removal from the Register, committee chairman Siobhan Goodrich said Sarheed had not made patient safety her first concern and had not used her judgement in the interests of patients and the public. Goodrich added that the ease with which the medicines had been obtained by the reporter was “frankly shocking”.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.20066687

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