Trainee pharmacist lied about exams to get job and illegally gave out Class A drug

Adnan Arshad Credit: MEN Syndication

A man lied to land a a job as a pharmacist by pretending he passed his exams - before dispensing methadone to customers.

Adnan Arshad, 29, worked at the Pearl Pharmacy in Rochdale between November 2017 and April 2019, during which he unlawfully dispensed the Class A drug.In order to become a registered pharmacist, students must undergo training to obtain a masters in Pharmacy degree, with 12 months of pre registration training and then they must pass the GPhC examination, Minshull Street Crown Court heard.

Arshad had been doing his pre-registration training at the pharmacy in Tweedale Street.

Adnan Arshad outside the court Credit: MEN Syndication

Arshad, of Mere Street in Rochdale, had already been working as a dispenser when the previous owner of the pharmacy applied for a training grant for him in order to complete his training.

The supervisor was responsible for overseeing his training and Arshad told him he had been going to extra training in the summer of 2018.The supervisor found Arshad was competent to take the exam - but was later informed by Arshad that he had already done them and passed them and was provided with a GPhC registration number. When it was checked, it had ‘no relation’ to Arshad.“The defendant said it must have been an administrative error and it was resulted,” Saul Brody, prosecuting, told the court.

“They raised it with the defendant on further occasions without it being resulted, but the defendant was taken at his word.“Thereafter he was employed at the pharmacy as a registered pharmacist and was able to dispense prescriptions. In 2018 the pharmacy was bought by another man who kept employing him with the understanding that he was registered.”

On 9 April 2019, an inspector carried out a pre-organised inspection in which Arshad presented his registration number. However, the following day, checks found the number was registered to somebody else.The inspector phoned Arshad who provided him with a different number which was linked to someone called ‘Arshad’ but it was not the same man.

After further questioning he admitted he was not registered and had lied to his employer.He was arrested and interviewed and told police that he had passed his examination and believed himself to be a registered pharmacist.

During his time working at the Pearl Pharmacy, he regularly dispensed methadone in ‘varying quantities’.

He pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation and supplying controlled drug of Class A. Mitigating, Hugh Barton, said his client fully accepted responsibility and had previously worked hard for his career.

Sentencing, Judge Paul Lawton said there was no suggestion that Arshad was not capable of passing the exams, but branded him ‘incompetent’ and he was caught out by the inspection.

“Essentially you gained employment through a lie. This strikes at the integrity of the system of regulation. It is a serious matter,” he said.

Arshad, of Mere Street, was handed 12 months imprisonment which was suspended for two years.