Cyprus Mail

Authorities investigating cases of fake pharmacists

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A thorough investigation is underway on Wednesday into reported cases of pharmacists practising with fake degrees, the pharmaceutical services said.

In an official statement the services condemned the alleged incidents, saying that the information, if true, puts public health at risk.

The scope of the investigation being conducted in collaboration with the police takes in “quite a few” allegations of pharmacists practising with forged documents, Director of Pharmaceutical Services Elena Panayiotopoulou said speaking on Omega TV.

“Following information received, we contacted one institution and determined that [in one particular case] the pharmacist had not studied at this university and had not obtained a degree from it. We immediately notified the police and the person [in question] was also informed and has been given the opportunity to respond to the accusations,” Panayiotopoulou said.

If the response is not deemed adequate the service is set to promptly revoke the practitioner’s licence the director said.

She noted there were several accusations pending investigation of forged or otherwise illegitimate qualifications, all originating from the same European country.

“This is a very serious matter […] and we have embarked on a thorough scrutiny of all pharmacists’ degrees for the past ten years,” the director said.

She said she hoped there had been a misunderstanding, but indications were not favourable.

“We will show no mercy in routing out any illegitimate practices within the profession,” the director emphasised.

The incidences under review run the gamut of pharmacy services from preparing medicines to dispensing them or owning and operating establishments, the director detailed.

“Public trust in pharmacists must remain unshakable. […] It is a matter of utmost safety that [practitioners] hold recognised degrees and honour their role as primary health care providers,” the pharmacists association said.

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