Taylor Hooton Foundation > Hoot’s Corner > General > Australia: 30-year ban for pharmacist over 100,000 items including steroids, stimulants, HGH
December 1, 2014
Australia: 30-year ban for pharmacist over 100,000 items including steroids, stimulants, HGH
Frank Balestra, who has been banned from dispensing drugs for 30 years.
Frank Balestra, who has been banned from dispensing drugs for 30 years.
A PERTH pharmacist has been banned from dispensing drugs for 30 years for imp­roperly supplying bodybuilders with “100,000 items” including steroids, stimulants and human growth hormones.
Frank Balestra, owner of Morris Pharmacy in Innaloo, this week admitted to “professional misconduct” after a Pharmacy Board of Australia investigation found he had improperly supplied drugs on tens of thousands of occasions over the past eight years. The State Administrative Tribunal heard Mr Balestra had filed prescriptions despite knowing patients were suffering from adverse side-effects, had been “doctor shopping” and engaged in body building. “The respondent continued dispensing anabolic steroids to one patient despite being informed by the patients’ medical practitioner that the patient was suffering from heart failure,” the SAT heard. He also admitted dispensing “more medication to pat­ients than the quantity that was prescribed”. The SAT found he dispensed drugs when “prescriptions were incomplete in that they were undated, failed to correctly state patients’ names, failed to stipulate the strength of the medication to be dispensed and failed to provide any directions for use”. Mr Balestra also filled prescriptions when he knew the quantities or combination of medicines risked an “unacceptable hazard to health”, had the potential for misuse or would lead to psychological or physical dependency. The Tribunal ordered Mr Balestra’s pharmacist registration be cancelled from January 9 next year and he is disqualified from reapplying for registration for 30 years. The Sunday Times understands Mr Balestra was one of two pharmacists who filled prescriptions for Perth doctor Mughammad Saliem Ismail, who was stripped of his registration after it was revealed he wrote 70,000 prescriptions over nine years so his patients could access steroids, human growth hormones and stimulants without any medical reason. For some drugs, he was responsible for up to 96 per cent of the state’s prescriptions. Mr Balestra declined to comment. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/year-ban-for-pharmacist-frank-balestra-over-100000-items-including-steroids-stimulants-human-growth-hormones/story-fnii5thm-1227139529898