Northern Ireland news

Co Down pharmacy workers sentenced for unlawful supply of medicines

The two men were sentenced at Downpatrick Crown Court

TWO Co Down pharmacy workers have been fined for their involvement in the unlawful supply of prescription-only medicines.

Pharmacist Gerard Maginn (63) and pharmacy technician Gordon Thomson (33) were sentenced at Downpatrick Crown Court after admitting 18 charges each.

Maginn, company director and owner of Clanua Ltd trading as Harts Pharmacy on Main Street in Newcastle, was given 100 hours community service and fined £25,000.

Thomson, with an address at Castlewellan Road in Newcastle, and who worked as company secretary and technician at Clanua Ltd, was given 80 hours community service and fined £1,000.

It is the first prosecution of its kind in Northern Ireland.

The court heard that enforcement officers from the Department of Health's Medicines Regulatory Group visited Harts Pharmacy last March.

An audit and inspection process established that the pharmacy had supplied a significant range of prescription medicines in the absence of a qualified registered pharmacist on March 24 2017.

The court heard the medicines unlawfully supplied included methadone, warfarin, pregabalin, and a range of antibiotics.

Legally, a qualified registered pharmacist must administer potentially dangerous prescription medications.

Following the conviction, the matter will be referred to the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland, the regulatory and professional body for pharmacists in Northern Ireland.

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