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Thirteen arrested during Bangkok pharmacy raids

PHOTO: Khaosod

Thirteen people have been arrested after officials raided a number of Bangkok pharmacies and found opioid-based pills being sold without the requisite licence. Nation Thailand reports that in total, 14 pharmacies were raided by the Consumer Protection Police Division and the Food and Drug Administration.

Thai law mandates that drugs can only be sold by a licenced pharmacist and the authorities have been clamping down on pharmacies since learning that some drugstores were selling medication such as Tramadol and opioid-based cough syrup over the counter to teenagers.

The drugs are reportedly used to make what’s called a “4×100” cocktail, with ingredients including kratom leaves mixed with cough syrup and/or Tramadol and Coca-Cola.

According to Supoj Pumyaem, chief of the Consumer Protection Police Division, the 13 people arrested were found to be selling the drugs over the counter and were not licenced pharmacists. It’s understood the pharmacies were legally registered by licenced pharmacists, but they only came to check on the premises once a week.

During the raids, 24,722 bottles of cough syrup, 4,150 Tramadol capsules, 572 illegal drugs, 212 unregistered drugs and 21 other “controlled drugs” were confiscated. In total, the seized drugs are estimated to be valued at 1.4 million baht.

The owners of the pharmacies are now under investigation, according to Supoj, to determine what they know of the illegal sale of drugs to teenagers. A number of the raided pharmacies are understood to be owned by the same individual.

According to the report, the authorities suspect that this person may have opened several pharmacy branches in order to secure a larger quota of cough syrup from manufacturers. Under Thai law, manufacturers are only allowed to provide 300 bottles a month to each pharmacy.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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