Monday, 17 December 2012
Pharmacists illegally sell Valium and morphine !
Undercover reporters were sold Valium, opiates and other controlled drugs without prescription at nine pharmacies.
Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham MP has demanded an urgent review, claiming watchdogs may not be "fit for purpose".
The Department of Health insisted it was tackling prescription drug abuse.
It is illegal for pharmacists to sell prescription-only drugs without a prescription unless it is a medical emergency.
But several London pharmacies sold the BBC's Inside Out programme diazepam or its trade name drug Valium - a strong and addictive sedative in the benzodiazepine family - for up to £85.
Latest figures show 293 people died in 2011 from misuse of benzodiazepines, more than double the 125 killed by cocaine and ecstasy combined.
Islington-born Josh Jarrett, 51, a supported housing officer, was prescribed Valium as a boy for hyperactivity.
After 44 years addicted to benzodiazepines he says his life has been ruined.
Withdrawal causes hyperventilation, panic attacks, vomiting and seizures.
Mr Jarrett said: "I'd rather somebody lop my arm off than take my medication from me.