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Pharmacy owner’s son jailed for dealing medicines

Drugs would be taken from the pharmacy “by the van load” and sold illegally, the MHRA said
Drugs would be taken from the pharmacy “by the van load” and sold illegally, the MHRA said

A 40-year-old man has been jailed for six years after using his mother’s London pharmacy as a “criminal enterprise” to deal prescription-only drugs such as codeine and diazepam.

David Ihenagwa of Edmonton, north London, was found guilty of supplying class B and class C controlled drugs after purchasing them from a wholesaler in Surrey.

Mr Ihenagwa worked as a company secretary in his mother’s east London pharmacy, which he used to operate the “criminal enterprise”, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said in a statement on Monday (January 27).

Officers from the MHRA seized 13,440 codeine phosphate tablets from an address in Stoke-on-Trent in June 2016, and traced them back to the pharmacy where Mr Ihenagwa worked.

MHRA investigations found that Mr Ihenagwa “regularly” bought controlled drugs in “far larger quantities” than a community pharmacy would usually dispense.

He was charged with supplying class B drug codeine phosphate and class C drugs diazepam, zopiclone, lorazepam and tramadol between September 2015 and April 2016.

The medicines would be collected from the pharmacy “by the van load” by a gang and shipped around the country, the MHRA said, adding that Mr Ihenagwa sold medicines on “at least” 23 occasions.

Mr Ihenagwa pleaded guilty to one charge of supplying class B drugs and four charges of supplying class C drugs. He was sentenced to six years in prison at Croydon Crown Court last week.

What do you make of Mr Ihenagwa's conviction?

RS Pharmacist, Primary care pharmacist

He will be out in 6 months with good behaviour.

Benie I, Locum pharmacist

And why not if child molesters can get away with same or similar sentences.

Greatly Pedantic and Highly Clueless, Senior Management

Looks like the wholesaler might have to update their SOPs. 

Paul Dishman, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Hopefully any proceeds of crime will be confiscated too. I daresay the GPhC will be  calling any pharmacists involved to account

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