News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Pharmacist imprisoned on Medicines Act charges

Pharmacist imprisoned on Medicines Act charges

A 32-year-old Auckland pharmacist been sentenced to four months and two weeks in prison for a series of breaches of the Medicines Act 1981 related to sales of unapproved prescription medicines.

At a defended hearing in the Auckland District Court, Fadi Iskander was convicted and sentenced on 47 of the 49 charges laid by the Ministry of Health.

These charges related to a wide variety of breaches of the Medicines Act in relation to offending prior to June 2010 when Mr Iskander operated a website from which he was selling unapproved prescription medicines for the treatment of male sexual dysfunction.

He was also found to have possessed medicines at two addresses without having a reasonable excuse to do so.

The products he advertised and sold were manufactured without approval and represented as herbal in nature despite containing prescription medicines as active ingredients.

The products contained erectile dysfunction medicines vardenafil or phentolamine.

Mr Iskander was conducting this business separately to a pharmacy which went into receivership in February 2010. The Pharmacy Council has suspended Mr Iskander’s pharmacy practising certificate.

The Medicines Act sets out the framework protecting the public from misuse of medicines by limiting prescriptions medicines to supply only on the authority of a healthcare professional (such as a medical practitioner).

This ensures that the benefits and risks of using a medicine have been carefully considered by the medical practitioner and that appropriate ongoing care is available.

Medsafe warns the public to treat any products advertised and sold for a therapeutic purpose outside of the usual medicines supply system with caution. The products may be sold illegally, may have false claims and may be adulterated.

In particular, it is difficult for consumers to be sure about the safety, quality and legality of medicines purchased over the internet.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

What is the Medicines Act 1981?

The Medicines Act 1981 regulates the manufacture, sale and distribution of medicines, medical devices and related products. The framework of the Act is designed to ensure that consumers receive medicines that are safe, effective and of an acceptable quality. The Act sets out legislative requirements for the sale, advertising, distribution, manufacture and importation of medicines.

The Ministry of Health is responsible for administering the Medicines Act 1981 and the Medicines Regulations 1984.

What is Medsafe?

Medsafe is the New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority. It is a business unit of the Ministry of Health and is the authority responsible for the regulation of therapeutic products in New Zealand in relation to pre-market approval and post market surveillance. These products include medicines and related products, medical devices and controlled drugs used as medicines.

What were the charges Fadi Iskander was convicted of?

Twenty charges of selling a new medicine without the consent of the Minister of Health (section 20(2)(a) of the Medicines Act 1981).

Fifteen charges relating to the storage and possession of prescription medicines without reasonable excuse (section 43(1) of the Medicines Act 1981).

Three charges of having medicines not in a proper container (section 46 of the Medicines Act 1981).

Three charges of advertising new medicines without the consent of the Minister of Health (section 20(2)(c) of the Medicines Act 1981).

Three charges of packing and / or labelling a medicine without a licence (section 17(1)(c) of the Medicines Act 1981).

Two charges of selling medicines with misleading labelling (section 61 of the Medicines Act 1981).

One charge of manufacturing a medicine without a licence (section 17(1)(a) of the Medicines Act 1981).

What were the significant public health risks posed by Mr Iskander’s activities?

By supplying unapproved prescription medicines outside the regulatory system, Mr Iskander put the health of members of the public at risk.

Prescription medicines were made available to the public unsupervised by a doctor with no consideration as to their safety and suitability for the consumer. Prescription medicines are potent substances used for treating patients with conditions that require thorough and effective diagnosis by a medical professional.

The prescription medicines sold to the public

The products Mr Iskander sold to the public went under various versions of the trade name Exotic.

Vardenafil is used to treat erectile dysfunction and is legally available in New Zealand in the approved product Levitra. There are certain cautions that have to be considered before vardenafil is prescribed as it should not be used with certain heart medications and may not be suitable for certain patients. The danger posed by the products being sold illegally is that consumers for whom vardenafil is unsuitable may use them believing they are totally herbal.

Phentolamine is a medicine with effects on the circulatory system. It has also been used to treat erectile dysfunction, however, there are no products currently approved in New Zealand for that purpose.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Game Review: Midsomer Murders Meets First Year Philosophy

Developed by The Chinese Room, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture sees the player exploring what appears to be a recently abandoned idyllic English village trying to figure out where everybody's gone. Spoiler: they've gone to the rapture. (On a serious note, this review contains plot spoilers.) More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Clear Science

It was really after his move to Wellington, to Victoria University, that it became apparent that Sir Paul Cllaghan was much more than an eminent physicist... More>>

ALSO:

Francis Cook: Weekend SportzMania! All Blacks! Netball!

Sports were on all weekend. I normally don’t write about sports but with Richie McCaw tipped to be the next Prime Minister, and Colin Craig arguing sports are almost as important as politics, I thought “what better time to start!” More>>

ALSO:

Beervana: Aussie Pav Beer Declared Taste Of NZ

In a surprising upset, an Australian beer modelled on the pavlova, created by Brisbane brewery Newstead Brewing, the 250 Beers blog and Scratch Bar, has been announced the winner at the Beervana craft beer festival ‘Flag Brew’ competition, which challenged media and brewing teams to capture the distinctive taste of New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Transport: Air NZ Teams Up With All Blacks For Men In Black Video

Inspired by the Columbia Pictures global film franchise Men in Black, Air New Zealand’s latest safety instalment features All Blacks’ Captain Richie McCaw and Dan Carter as Men in Black agents. More>>

ALSO:

World Champions: BRADAS Of Identity Company Take On The World And Win Gold

This is only the second time since NZ has qualified for the HHI world finals that NZ has taken home a GOLD medal in this division. REQUEST Dance Crew being the only other NZ crew to achieve this. New Zealands only other medal this year was Silver for the Royal Family in a very close final in the Megacrew division. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Contrary To Popular Belief - Lloyd Geering

Many older Dunediners like myself, and indeed older Presbyterians and others throughout the country, will remember the controversy aroused by the articles and speeches of Professor Geering, Principal of Knox College Theological Hall in the late 1960s... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news