Steroid abuse charges

Wanneroo Times - - NEWS - Sarah Brookes

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.

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