A pharmacist admitted he had an addiction after being caught stealing drugs while working in a Dunedin pharmacy.
Simon James Blue's pharmacy registration has been cancelled by the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal after he admitted and was convicted of stealing a class B controlled drug.
Blue became registered as a pharmacist in 2010 and moved to Australia to work in 2013.
While employed as a pharmacist in Australia he was investigated by the Health Care Complaints Commission which found that he had stolen 6900 Ritalin tablets from his former employer for his personal use over a two-year period.
Since Blue had surrendered his registration during the investigation no action was taken.
However, early in the investigation the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand told him that because he did not have an annual practising certificate he could longer work as a pharmacist
in New Zealand.
Despite that he took up a short-term position as a pharmacy technician at Forbury Pharmacy in Caversham, Dunedin, during the
His employer agreed he was only to work as a technician as he did not hold an annual practising certificate but Blue did not tell them of the investigation.
During the five days he worked at the Dunedin pharmacy he completed tasks that fell within the registered pharmacist scope of practice, including handling, preparing and dispensing medicines.
He also stole a packet of 30 Rubifen tablets from the controlled drug safe.
Blue initially denied taking the drugs until he was shown CCTV footage of himself stealing it.
He later admitted to police that he took the Rubifen for his own personal use and that he needed help for his addiction to it.
"I guess temptation got the better of me," he said.
"I know I need help for this addiction and leaving pharmaceuticals is the best option for me to get myself straight. This is why I am heading towards an engineering background."
He was charged under the Misuse of Drugs Act, pleaded guilty, was convicted and was sentenced to 150 hours of community work.
The tribunal found that the criminal conviction and his admission that he undertook the duties of a pharmacist for five days without an annual practising certificate warranted disciplinary action.
His registration as a pharmacist was cancelled, he was censured and he was ordered to pay $8500.