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Drugs On-Line Scam Revealed

Internet Magazine shows how easy it is to buy prescription medicines online.

In an investigation into buying prescription-only medicines over the net, Internet Magazine has discovered that it’s a simple matter to buy the prescription drugs of your choice. Investigations also revealed a NZ pharmacist whose Internet medicine business is apparently flouting the law.

While investigating the story, Internet Magazine found the pharmacist, Kerry Bell, was continuing to sell prescription only medicines overseas, despite a recent law change.

Bell was already under investigation by the Pharmaceutical Society and today (March 8) found guilty of three charges of professional misconduct for selling medicines over the internet without a prescription. The disciplinary committee of the Pharmaceutical Society released its decision today, finding him guilty and suspending him for three years, with a fine of $10,000 and $50,000 costs
However, Internet Magazine revealed that internet sales of prescription-only drugs were still continuing. Its reporter successfully purchased Xenical and Prozac through Bell’s New Zealand based pharmacy, Pharmacycare.co.nz. It took the magazine a mere five minutes to provide credit card details and arrange to have Xenical and Prozac sent to a Sydney post box, from where they were then forwarded to Auckland. The magazine also purchased growth hormone, sold on the internet as an elixir of youth from an American doctor.

Fiona Mayo, assistant editor of Internet Magazine says: “When our drugs arrived last week, we informed the Ministry of Health, which seized the drugs and took statements. Internet Magazine became a witness in the ongoing investigation into the pharmacist.

“The package containing the drugs was opened in the presence of a Ministry of Health official. To our, and to the official’s surprise, we found the packing slip showed the name and license number of Remuera doctor, Chris Simpson.”

Simpson also was under investigation by the Ministry for possible breaches of the Medicines Act for selling Viagra and Xenical over his website last year. He had also been remanded since November 20 while awaiting a deposition hearing on charges of murder. It was alleged he attempted to murder his mother while she was on her deathbed last October.

“Internet Magazine could not contact Kerry Bell to ask how Chris Simpson’s name got on the packing slip, or speak to Chris Simpson. We put the matter to Sue Ineson, chief executive of the Medical Council of New Zealand,” says Fiona Mayo. “She told us the council is working on the issue with the Ministry of Health, which is pursuing an investigation into Dr Simpson.”

Internet Magazine asked the Medical Council if Simpson’s license to practise medicine should be revoked immediately. Ms Ineson said that at this stage she could not ascertain if Simpson was aware his number was on the packing slip but that the Council is requesting Dr Simpson voluntarily give up his practising certificate.

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