Sydney pharmacist and wholesaler has registration cancelled after supplying counterfeit Viagra

0

SELLING counterfeit Viagra has landed a Glendenning pharmacist in hot water after the dodgy tablets were distributed to the Sydney Children’s Hospital.

Pharmacist and wholesaler Mina Attia’s registration has been cancelled for at least 12 months after misconduct allegations were taken to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

In a ruling last Friday, the tribunal found Mr Attia bought the counterfeit Viagra from an unlicensed supplier and failed to check the tablets were genuine.

The tribunal heard the Viagra was sold on to the Sydney Children’s Hospital to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension.

While the drug is widely known for treating erectile dysfunction, it also used to treat the rare type of high blood pressure affecting the right side of the heart.

In June 2010, a pharmacist at the hospital became suspicious of “uncharacteristically gritty” Viagra, when crushing a batch to prepare medication for patients.

An investigation found Mr Attia was part of a distribution chain — buying the drugs from unlicensed supplier Sajay Rai, and selling them on to another wholesaler that in turn sold them to the hospital.

Mr Rai was later convicted of two counts on supplying counterfeit therapeutic goods and sentenced to 350 hours of community service.

The incident sparked a voluntary recall of 5000 units of Viagra distributed between March 12 and June 9, 2010.

During the same period, Viagra manufacturer Pfizer received complaints from regular customers that tablets purchased from Shopsmart pharmacies — a business owned by Mr Attia — “did not work”.

Mr Attia argued he never “entertained the idea that the product might have been counterfeit”, believing them to be “a bad batch”.

Mr Attia later admitted to breaching conditions of his licence and failing to contact Pfizer to ensure the drugs were genuine.

The tribunal found it “could not be confident that Mr Attia would act with complete candour in future dealings with regulators”.

Mr Attia had his registration cancelled and is ineligible for review for at least 12 months.

The tribunal found there “was no suggestion” the wholesaler that bought the pills from Mr Attia to sell to the hospital acted improperly.

Share.

About Author

Leave A Reply