5 drug­stores closed, own­ers nabbed for psy­chotropic drugs


CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija: A doc­tor and 11 phar­ma­cies own­ers were ar­rested while their drug­stores were closed on Fri­day af­ter they were found sell­ing re­stricted psy­chotropic drugs with­out pre­scrip­tion.

The medicines, usu­ally pre­scribed to per­sons with men­tal prob­lems, were found be­ing sold over the counter in the Drug Store, Twin Phar­macy, Maru Drug Store, Evamed Med­i­cal Sup­ply and Shen Mica Trad­ing and Phar­macy which are near Cabanatuan hos­pi­tals.

PDEA Di­rec­tor Aaron Aquino said his men con­ducted a month-long sur­veil­lance on the sus­pected drug­stores be­fore the si­mul­ta­ne­ous raid.

Con­fis­cated from the drug­stores were Nal­bin Am­poule, Val­ium Di­azepam Am­poules, Riv­otil Clon­azepam, Stil­mox Zolpi­dem, Avami­gram glass am­poule Ephedrine, am­ber glass vials of ke­tamine hy­drochlo­ride, and a clear glass of Fen­tanyl Ci­trate.

Drug de­pen­dents here have re­port­edly turned to these pop­u­lar brands of psy­chotropic medicine af­ter shabu be­came rare in the il­licit mar­ket in the wake of mas­sive ar­rests and deaths of sus­pected drug ad­dicts and push­ers.

In con­nec­tion with this, the Philip­pine Drug En­force­ment against the ar­rested doc­tor and the own­ers of 11 drug­stores.

drug­store own­ers in Cabanatuan City as ob­ste­tri­cian- gy­ne­col­o­gist Ja­nine Du­ran Chua, Domer Licban, Rose Ann Ni­co­las, My­lah Tam­bongco, Rechelle Ann Ar­cilla and Mari­cris dela Cruz, as well as Rachelle Joy Padilla of Panta­ban­gan, Remita Leon­cio of Laur, Con­suelo Se­v­i­dal of Bongabon, Nieves Nazareno of Palayan City, Neme Leaon­cio An­gel­lano of Talug­tug and Marivic Suba of Jaen, all in Nueva Ecija.

They were charged with vi­o­la­tion of the Com­pre­hen­sive Dangerous Drugs Act. If con­victed, they may be sen­tenced to life less than P1 mil­lion each.

The sus­pects are tem­po­rar­ily de­tained at the PDEA-3 jail fa­cil­ity while fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion is be­ing con­ducted.

PDEA–3 Di­rec­tor Joseph Ladip, head of the raid­ing team, said the drug store own­ers do not have the re­quired PDEA trad­ing li­cense per­mit based on the Dangerous Drug Law that reg­u­lates the sell­ing, trad­ing, ad­min­is­tra­tion, dis­pen­sa­tion, de­liv­ery, and distri­bu­tion of these drugs.

Ladip ex­plained that one of the re­stricted drugs – Nal­buphine hy­drochlo­ride – gives the user the same “high” ex­pe­ri­enced when tak­ing shabu. Be­sides, psy­chotropic drugs are cheaper and the “high” lasts longer. The user in­jects the medicine ei­ther in the arms or on the el­bow.

PDEA op­er­a­tives said some buy­ers do it openly even right at the drug­store af­ter buy­ing the drugs or on the street be­cause the peo­ple around are clue­less.

Nor­mally, Ladip said, buy­ers of these drugs are re­quired to present a doc­tor’s pre­scrip­tion and for sev­eral years Nal­bin Am­poules were be­ing sold at P150 when it only costs P25.

He said most buy­ers come from Nueva Ecija, Tar­lac, Bu­la­can, Pam­panga.

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