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Police issue warning over fake veterinary prescriptions

Police are warning community pharmacists to be on the lookout for fake veterinary prescriptions circulating in the north of England. The prescriptions are for medicines that can be used as recreational drugs.

Fake veterinary prescription

The fake prescriptions have been presented at pharmacies in York, Oldham, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester

The police are keen to hear from any pharmacists who may have dispensed or been presented with fake prescriptions. The prescriptions carry the stamp of a fictitious practice called Vet Doctor but bare the names of genuine veterinary surgeons Robin Appleton, who practices in Essex, and Camil Stoian, who has a practice in Vienna, Austria.

The Greater Manchester fraud squad suspects that the fraud could have spread beyond York, Oldham, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester where they already know the prescriptions were presented at four pharmacies between November and the end of December 2013.

Pharmacists at three of the pharmacies were suspicious and refused to dispense the drugs. They were dispensed by a pharmacist in Oldham who later alerted the police when she too became suspicious.
The prescriptions involve eight drugs: dihydrocodeine, codeine phosphate, clonazepam, phenobarbital, alimemazine, zopiclone, diazepam and human growth hormone.

The fraud squad’s detective constable Andy Devonshire told PJ Online: “We are warning community pharmacists to be on the lookout for these fake prescriptions but also want to hear if they have been dispensed.
“We believe whoever is behind this is going on to sell the drugs, which are recreational drugs. We are told they would not usually be prescribed for animal use.”

Anybody who has any information should contact detective constable Devonshire (tel 0161 856 6783, email  andrew.devonshire@gmp.pnn.police.uk).

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.11137943

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