Sydney Chemist Sold One Patient 140,000 Painkiller Pills
A western Sydney pharmacist doled out “massive” amounts of a drug known as “hillbilly heroin” to patients with dubious scripts.
Anthony Sadek, who owns JMA Chemist at Guildford, sold about 140,000 pills to one person alone over four years.
He has been banned from selling restricted Schedule 8 drugs, including opioids, and faces disciplinary proceedings after he was found to have engaged in professional misconduct by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
But the pharmacist of 23 years denies wrongdoing, telling The Daily Telegraph yesterday his only mistake was being “overly deferential” to the doctor under whose name 600 dodgy handwritten scripts were filled at his chemist.
Tribunal documents show Sadek came under scrutiny in 2013 from the Pharmaceutical Services Unit, which was worried he was selling “an unusually high quantity of OxyContin 80mg tablets”.
Court documents state a PSU investigator inspected Sadek’s records in 2014 and found numerous breaches, including that more 350 OxyContin tablets were missing and he had filled hundreds of suspicious handwritten scripts with blacked out identification numbers all under the name of a doctor, known only as Dr BW for legal reasons.
Documents state Sadek filled out 600 scripts under the name of Dr BW for 46 patients between December 2012 and March 2014.
Sadek told the tribunal he did not think it “particularly unusual” that one person, known as Patient D for legal reasons, collected medication on behalf of 46 patients, coming in several times a week with multiple scripts and paying up to $2000 in cash each time.
Records show Sadek dispensed 143,884 OxyContin 80mg tablets to Patient D between 2010 and 2014.
Sadek told The Daily Telegraph he was “overly deferential’ to Dr BW because he believed he was an orthopedic surgeon.
Dr BW, however, is in fact a bulk-billing GP.
“I was taken for a fool,” Sadek said.
Sadek gave the same evidence to the tribunal but it was rejected.
In its judgment the tribunal said: “Looking at the massive quantities of opioid involved … whatever view Mr Sadek had of Dr BW’s bona fides as a doctor, the possibility of misuse of these drugs was very significant.”
The tribunal concluded, “that more than mere incompetence was involved and that Mr Sadek’s conduct was improper and unethical.”
The case has been adjourned for a determination hearing.