Published: 6 September 2013

Pharmacist Jailed for Breaches of the Medicine Act

Prescriber Update 34(3):34
September 2013

A recent court case highlights that consumers need to be cautious before buying products that are advertised for a therapeutic purpose on the internet, particularly those advertised to treat erectile dysfunction.

A 32-year-old Auckland pharmacist has been sentenced to four months and two weeks in prison for a series of breaches of the Medicines Act 1981. Mr Iskander was convicted of 47 charges laid by the Ministry of Health.

The charges related to a wide variety of breaches of the Medicines Act 1981. Mr Iskander operated a website from which he was selling unapproved prescription medicines for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Mr Iskander was also found to have possessed medicines at two addresses without having a reasonable excuse to do so.

The products sold by Mr Iskander contained vardenafil and phentolamine. The products were sold under various versions of the trade name 'Exotic'.

Medsafe reminds healthcare professionals and consumers to treat any products advertised and sold for a therapeutic purpose outside of the usual medicines supply system with caution. These products may be being sold illegally, may have false claims, or may be adulterated with undisclosed active ingredients.

Consumers also cannot be sure of the safety, quality, and legality of medicines purchased over the internet (see article on page 31).

The Pharmacy Council of New Zealand has suspended Mr Iskander's pharmacy practicing certificate.