Cyprus Mail

Police charge Paphos doctor with illegally supplying prescription drugs

Drug production

A 69-year-old doctor who was arrested in connection with the illegal supply of a prescription drug in Paphos was charged and released on Tuesday morning. He is expected to appear in court at a later date.

The doctor, who works at a private clinic, gave himself up at a police station on Monday afternoon after police identified his signature on a prescription for a patient he had never met.

The prescription medication in question is understood to be oxycodone, a semi-synthetic opiate used to treat moderate to severe pain. The drug is very addictive and prescribing it requires permission from the health ministry.

Two people who were arrested on Friday and remanded for two days in connection with the case were charged and released on Sunday. They are a 59-year-old pharmacist and a 27-year-old man to whom the pharmacist supplied the prescription medication.

All three men are facing charges of conspiracy to commit a felony and misdemeanour, as well as forgery and circulation of a forged document.

The young man’s mother had reported to police on June 15 that her son and a second suspect, her nephew, had been given the drug, and her son and the pharmacist were arrested the next day.

She said on June 14 she followed her son to the pharmacy, which was closed, and saw the pharmacist throw a pill from the balcony of his home which her son took.

Allegedly, the pharmacist gave the same pill to her son on June 15 in the presence of her sister.

The sister confirmed the incident and said she understood that it was oxycodone from the wrapping.

The pharmacist presented a prescription for 112 pills in the man’s name signed by the doctor on June 3.

But under questioning the young man told police that he had never visited the doctor in question. He said he first bought the tablets at the pharmacy a year ago when he learned that he could get them from the pharmacist without a prescription.

According to reports, over the weekend police had communicated with the doctor, letting him know he was wanted for questioning.

The doctor said he was not in Paphos at the time but would visit the police once he returned. Later, on Saturday, his lawyer got in touch with police assuring them his client would surrender himself.

Initially the case was pursued by the Drug Squad, but it has since been taken over by Paphos CID due to the suspicion of document forgery and circulation relating to the prescription, and the doctor’s signature on it.

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