IN A raid on 14 pharmacies across Bangkok 13 unlicensed pharmacists were arrested on charges of selling cough syrup to teenagers that at very high doses can mimic the effects of illegal drugs ketamine, TV Channel 7 said today (Aug. 15).
The Consumer Protection Police Division and Food and Drug Administration had from July 24 to August 9 raided the 14 targeted pharmacies with many of them being a franchise.
A total of 156 medicines were seized when the 13 fake pharmacists rounded up. They had either studied up to the ninth or 12th grade with a few holding a bachelor’s degree.
All of them said that they had been hired to sell medicines from their store with a qualified pharmacist coming round only once a week and were paid 12,000-18,000 baht salary.
Police said such pharmacies are usually owned by a single person but he/she had got permits to open several outlets in order to get an additional quota for drugs on the surveillance list. They are usually located near communities where there are lots of teenagers who are eager to get hold of cough syrup.
These pharmacies and fake pharmacists face charges of not properly listing the medicines they sell as required, selling dangerous drugs when the pharmacist is not around, and selling unregistered and fake medicines.
The Food and Drug Administration is now moving to suspend the licence of these pharmacies.
Top and Front Page: Two of the 14 pharmacies raided by police and FDA officials. Photos: MNG Online