Steroid abuse charges
TWO Perth pharmacists facing allegations they engaged in professional misconduct when dispensing anabolic steroids, have had their application to strike out proceedings against them dismissed by the State Administrative Tribunal.
On May 16, 2017 the Pharmacy Board of Australia filed applications against Felecia Hamilton and Chetan Hegde, alleging the pair supplied steroids to customers in quantities that they should have known were not necessary for any therapeutic purpose, had the potential for misuse and were likely to constitute a health risk.
Mr Hegde, who owns Priceline Beaumaris in Ocean Reef and McKenzies Chemist in Mt Lawley, and Ms Hamilton, who owns Hamilton’s Compounding Pharmacy in Canning Vale, called for the matter to be struck out on the basis of unreasonable delay in starting the proceedings.
The case revolves around their dispensing of anabolic steroids between January 1, 2008 and April 30, 2009.
The Board argued it only became aware of the misconduct in November 2014 and an investigation into the pair began in January 2015.
“The primary complaint in this matter is that she (Ms Hamilton) failed to perform her important role as a final check on the prescribing practices of the doctors by failing to exercise her own independent professional judgement,” the Board said. “The fact is she dispensed combinations of anabolic steroids she either knew or should have known were not for therapeutic purpose.
“They were likely to constitute an unacceptable hazard to the health of patients and others (to) whom those drugs could be onsold and had potential for misuse, abuse or psychological and physical dependency. Had the respondent been acting in accordance with her obligations, then those improper regimes might have been discovered earlier or prevented in the first instance.”
The Board made similar submissions against Mr Hegde.
Mr Hegde said his pharmacy stopped anabolic compounding in October 2010 and since that time, dispensing of Sustanon and Deca Durabolin had reduced significantly.
The Tribunal said disciplinary proceedings were necessary to protect the public.
“The Tribunal is concerned not only with the need to appropriately sanction the respondents, if the allegations are proven against them, but to send a message to the wider pharmaceutical profession and the public that high standards of professionalism are required of pharmacists,” a spokesperson said.
The doctors who prescribed the steroids were disciplined. The decision was made on September 18.