GP charged for illegally selling cough syrup 'by the canister'

SINGAPORE - A general practitioner was charged with selling a cough mixture by the canister to three men, who would then rebottle them for sale to codeine abusers.

The Straits Times reported that Ho Thong Chew, 41, allegedly sold two to five 3.8 litre canisters to each man every week.

He sold 424 canisters to Yap Beng Keong, 37; 374 to Ng Yong Yi, 30; and 48 to Ng Jin Jie, 29.

In total, the resident doctor at Focus Medical Group in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 sold more than 3,000 litres of Dhasedyl between January and May last year - enough to fill about 9,000 standard cans of soft drinks.

Dhasedyl is a prescription medicine, and cannot be sold in quantities exceeding 240ml to a single person at any one time or sold to the same person within four days.

The offence came to light when Health Sciences Authority officers discovered that the number of canisters of the cough syrup on the clinic premises did not add up.

About $80,000 was seized from Ho's home later.

Ho, who faces 35 charges, is believed to be the first doctor charged with the wholesale of a medical products.

His case will be heard on June 11.

yamadak@sph.com.sg

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