Pharmacist is struck off after drugs offences

Court
Court

A senior pharmacist jailed earlier this year for illegally supplying almost a million prescription painkillers and opiates has been struck off the register.

Maurice Currie is from Lisburn but supplied the drugs in Armagh.

At a hearing of the disciplinary committee of the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland last week, chairwoman Gillian McGaughey said that by flooding the Province with the illegal supply of prescription medicines, 46-year-old Maurice Currie had “brought the profession into disrepute and has inflicted serious damage on the reputation of pharmacists of NI”.

“We are satisfied that his actions are fundamentally and incompatible with remaining on the register,” declared the committee.

At Newry Crown Court in April Currie, from Portmore Road in Lisburn, pleaded guilty to 12 charges of illegally supplying prescription medicines, controlled drugs and opiate painkillers.

The court heard that Currie gave out a total of 875,000 tablets which were worth £60,000 to his Railway Street pharmacy in Armagh but could have been sold for up to £600,000 on the black market for prescription tablets.

His defence claimed he had been acting under duress.

Judge Kevin Finnegan QC imposed a 12-month jail term, ordering that Currie spend half the sentence in jail and half on licence.

Despite that order, Currie served three months and has already been released under a Department of Justice early release scheme.