Birmingham pharmacist jailed for drug trafficking

Birmingham pharmacist Sarfraz Hussain was sentenced today to 28 months in prison at the Birmingham Crown Court following an investigation by the MHRA.

In January, Sarfraz Hussain, 49, pleaded guilty to four counts of supplying Class C controlled drugs and three counts of possession of Class C drugs with intent to supply.

He admitted to supplying or intending to supply a total of 1,443,036 doses of CDs with a street value of between £854,000 and £1.4m.

Mr Hussain, who operated three pharmacies in Small Heath, Erdington and Halsowen, never held the Home Office licence that would have allowed him to trade, import and export CDs. Despite this, he still ordered large amounts of Class C drugs from legitimate suppliers, prompting the MHRA to inspect his Erdington pharmacy.

When initially questioned about the orders, Mr Hussain denied any wrongdoing. However, further investigations revealed that from August 2015 to September 2016 he unlawfully supplied 31,537 packs of Class C drugs, including zopiclone, diazepam, nitrazepam and zolpidem. 

MHRA enforcement officers seized 560,000 tablets of the above medicines from Hussain’s three pharmacies.

MHRA Head of Enforcement Mark Jackson said: “It is a serious criminal offence to sell controlled drugs which are also prescription only medicines without a prescription.

“We work relentlessly with regulatory and law enforcement colleagues to identify and prosecute those involved.

“Those who sell medicines illegally are exploiting vulnerable people and have no regard for their health. Prescription-only medicines are potent and should only be taken under medical supervision.”

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