Taylor Hooton Foundation > Hoot’s Corner > General > Physician writes scripts for tens of thousands of steroids and other PEDs
October 23, 2014
Physician writes scripts for tens of thousands of steroids and other PEDs

A Perth GP has been struck off for writing tens of thousands of prescriptions for steroids, human growth hormones and stimulants for no therapeutic purpose and without regard for potential adverse effects. The Medical Board of Australia brought charges against Mughammad Saliem Ismail, who also practised under the name Salim Ismail, after an investigation by the WA health department. A schedule of prescriptions written by Ismail and dispensed by just two pharmacies revealed scripts for approximately 70,000 items of controlled substances between March 2005 and March 2014. The prescriptions were for anabolic androgenic steroids, the human growth hormone SciTropin, the stimulants clenbuterol and ephedrine, and Clomid (containing cyclofenil or clomiphene). Early in proceedings before the WA State Administrative Tribunal, Ismail admitted giving patients multiple prescriptions for those substances, where there was no therapeutic indication and despite the potential for adverse effects in his patients or others to whom the products could be onsold. He acknowledged he had acted carelessly and improperly in continuing to give multiple scripts for anabolic steroids and human growth hormones to patients who showed signs of known adverse effects. They include patients whose test results showed elevated liver enzymes, elevated renal markers, hypercholesterolemia and adverse coronary risk ratios, or who had been exhibiting aggressive behaviour, depression and risk of suicide. Ismail also continued prescribing anabolic steroids to patients who he knew or ought to have known were suffering from gynaecomastia caused by their steroid use. One such patient underwent a mastectomy in mid-2009 secondary to gynaecomastia, Ismail’s records showed. The doctor, who practised at several Perth clinics in the relevant period, further admitted he had acted carelessly and improperly with regard to patients who apparently suffered from body dysmorphia. He had continued to prescribe them anabolic steroids, without acting to treat the condition or refer them to a physician, the tribunal noted. In one case, he faxed a prescription for anabolic steroids to a patient “in response to emails from the patient expressing his desire for those drugs on an urgent basis because he was distressed as a result of his loss of muscle mass”. The scale of Ismail’s illicit prescribing came to light during a two-month probe by WA Health of practitioners prescribing anabolic steroids and stimulants. Investigators found Ismail had prescribed 96% of the clenbuterol solution and 85% of the ephedrine prescribed in WA in the two-month review period, as well as 10% of the EAC capsules containing ephedrine, aspirin and caffeine. His name was also on 27% of scripts for methandrostenolone capsules, 75% of oxandrolone capsules, and 36% of methenolone capsules. Ismail’s registration as a medical practitioner was cancelled as of 10 October and his name removed from the registry. He was suspended from practising medicine as of 7 March this year. The medical board alleged he continued prescribing steroids until June, but Ismail denied the allegation. http://www.nzdoctor.co.nz/news/2014/october-2014/21/gp-caught-in-illicit-steroid-probe.aspx