Pharmacist given 28-month jail sentence for supplying controlled medicines to black market

Medicine cabinet for controlled drugs

A pharmacist from West Bromwich has been sentenced to 28 months in jail for diverting controlled medicines to the black market.

Jaspar Ojela, who owns a pharmacy in Dudley, was sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court on 13 January 2020 for diverting drugs with an estimated street value of £280,490. 

An investigation by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulator Agency (MHRA) found that Ojela had illegally supplied opioids, cancer medicines and tranquillisers including diazepam, zolpidem and zopiclone.

The MHRA explained that there is a black market for cancer medicines because the drugs can be misused by bodybuilders to “counteract the unwanted effects of other hormone medications”.

Ojela admitted that he bought drugs from two wholesalers with the intent to divert them from the legitimate supply chain, and that he received payment from operatives in the black market.

Between February and September 2016, he “illegally supplied over 200,000 doses of these drugs to criminal associates”, the regulator said.

Ojela pleaded guilty to the offences at an earlier hearing on 1 November 2019.

The MHRA is taking action to recover the proceeds of Ojela’s illegal supplies.

Mark Jackson, head of enforcement at the MHRA, said: “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.”





Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, Pharmacist given 28-month jail sentence for supplying controlled medicines to black market;Online:DOI:10.1211/PJ.2020.20207589

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