A doctor is being investigated by gardai for continuing to prescribe drugs to patients after he was struck off by the Medical Council.
Dr Mohammed Ahmed Khan, who had a practice on Wicklow Street in Dublin city centre, is suspected of issuing the prescriptions under the name of another doctor after he lost his licence in 2015 for overprescribing sleeping pills.
The garda investigation is focusing on allegations that the GP prescribed medicines under another doctor’s name. The inquiry has been under way for more than a year and it is believed that statements have been taken from more than 100 people, some of them Dr Khan’s former patients. A file is expected to be passed to the Director of Public Prosecutions in the coming months.
This weekend, Dr Khan admitted that he continued to prescribe drugs for “one or two very important” patients after he was struck off, but he only did so while he was trying to wind up his practice.
Asked if he wrote the prescriptions under the name of another doctor, he replied: “Yes, the guy who used to do locum actually, you know, yes. Because the Medical Council, they would not give me a chance, so yes.”
Dr Khan first came to the attention of the Medical Council in 2012. He was reported by a pharmacist who noticed high levels of benzodiazepines – highly addictive, psychoactive drugs used as tranquilisers – that he was prescribing to patients. Dr Khan was allowed to continue to practise but with conditions attached to his licence.
Three years later, in June 2015, he was struck off by the Medical Council for overprescribing sleeping pills to one of his patients. He faced 15 allegations of professional misconduct and was found guilty of 11, with his treatment of the patient condemned as “disgraceful” and “dishonourable”.
Dr Khan’s lawyer claimed that he had symptoms of depression and pleaded that cancelling his registration at the age of 65 would effectively end his career.
Six months later, in November 2015, a pharmacist complained that Dr Khan was apparently still practising and notified gardai and the Medical Council.
The regulatory body obtained a High Court injunction to stop him from practising and took the unusual step of issuing a public announcement warning the public to report him to gardai or the Medical Council if they encountered him practising medicine.
In a statement, the Medical Council said: “Dr Mohammed Ahmed Khan’s registration was cancelled by the Medical Council’s Fitness to Practise Committee, confirmed by the High Court on June 8, 2015.
“He subsequently continued to practise as a doctor and the Medical Council, on December 17, 2015, secured a High Court injunction restraining Dr Khan from practising medicine while unregistered.”