Pharmacist suspended for aiding drug dealer

A FORMER Ipswich pharmacist, charged with illegally dispensing large quantities of pseudoephedrine for amphetamine production, has been suspended from operating a pharmacy for five years.

Adam Huynh, who owned Harrison's Pharmacy in Ipswich, allegedly sold hundreds of boxes of the nasal decongestant drug for twice the usual price of the product between January 2004 and October 2006.

Mr Huynh pleaded guilty on March 17, 2008 to one count of producing a dangerous drug and was sentenced to two years in jail to be suspended for an operative period of three years after serving six months imprisonment.

The Pharmacy Board of Australia referred the matter to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal in 2011 calling for disciplinary action to be taken against Mr Huynh. In a decision handed down last month, on January 23, the tribunal ordered the pharmacist be prohibited from working in a sole practice or own a pharmacy for five years.

My Huynh, who is no longer registered as a pharmacist, is unable to reapply for registration for another 12 months and must complete a tertiary module in ethical decision making before doing so.

The Tribunal heard My Huynh sold about 1500 packets of pseudoephedrine to one man between November 2005 and July 2006 at an inflated price. The buyer would use 20 to 40 stolen licences to purchase 20 to 40 packets of the drug at a time.

On October 2, 2006 Mr Huynh sold 10 packets of the drug to undercover police. A covert recording of a conversation between police revealed Mr Huynh understood the pseudoephedrine was being purchased not to meet a therapeutic need, but for the purpose of producing a dangerous drug.

By law a pharmacist must not sell pseudoephedrine unless the purchaser has a therapeutic need for the drug and provides formal identification. Chemists are required to record the date and the purchaser's name and address when selling pseudoephedrine over the counter.

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