Pharmacist found guilty of selling drugs stolen from workplace

Individual sold pharmacy-only medications on TradeMe

Pharmacist found guilty of selling drugs stolen from workplace

A pharmacist was found guilty of misappropriating medications from his workplace and selling them online.

During a hearing held earlier this week, the New Zealand Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal was told that Jayant Patel, 38, made $126,076 by stealing pharmacy-only medicines and selling them on the popular auction site, Trade Me, according to the New Zealand Herald.

The scheme lasted from January 2016 to April 2020, according to the agreed summary of facts heard by the tribunal, with Patel concealing his thefts by editing purchase orders to ensure that the extra stock was never recorded by the pharmacy.

Patel reportedly used two Trade Me accounts to sell various medications, including pharmacy-only products like allergy relief, anti-fungal treatments, and iron supplements. He also sold other general items such as dietary supplements, skincare products, and makeup, said the report.

The thefts were ultimately discovered by the pharmacy owner after he found an unaccounted surplus of smoking cessation lozenges. Further investigation identified Patel as the perpetrator, according to the New Zealand Herald.

Workplace thefts

Upon being confronted, Patel conceded to the thefts and reimbursed the pharmacy $100,000. He also admitted to exploiting his professional credentials to circumvent legal restrictions imposed on the sale of pharmacy-only medications.

Patel had already been convicted of theft by a person in a special relationship, according to the New Zealand Herald, resulting in a sentence of six months’ community detention.

At the hearing with the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, Patel was found guilty of two charges of professional misconduct bringing discredit to his profession.

His defence attempted to dispute the specifics of the medication he was accused of stealing, arguing that some items had been obtained through other means. However, the tribunal found that his actions warranted disciplinary sanction.

The tribunal is set to hold a penalty hearing in the coming week, the New Zealand Herald reported.

What are your thoughts on this story? Feel free to comment below.

Recent articles & video

'Unpaid' worker claims constructive dismissal

Manager wins over $22,000 for unjustified disadvantage, dismissal

How criminal charges impact employment investigations

New Zealand employers ready to pay more for employees with AI skills

Most Read Articles

Recap: Winners of the 2024 HRD Awards New Zealand

Best practice for handling fixed-term agreements in New Zealand

Couple to pay over $94,000 for wage violations