A Queanbeyan pharmacist says he was "pressured" by friends to supply drugs - including steroids and drugs of addiction - without a prescription.
Pharmacist James Fearon - who previously had an "unblemished record" - was arrested at Blooms the Chemist in Queanbeyan in November 2014 and subsequently pleaded guilty to supplying prescription drugs and possessing a prohibited drug.
The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal this month cancelled his registration and disqualified him from seeking registration for 12 months, for complaints relating to the criminal charges as well as additional allegations of drug supply.
The tribunal heard Mr Fearon supplied himself and a number of other friends and associates drugs including steroids, weight-loss drugs, Xanax and sleeping pills.
Mr Fearon admitted he was guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct and that he had been convicted of a criminal offence, but he denied not being a suitable person to hold registration and some of the allegations which he was not pursued by police for.
He claimed the patient history records the Health Care Complaints Commission relied on were unreliable, shifting the blame to his employer.
But the tribunal found that apart from uncorroborated allegations made by Mr Fearon against the pharmacy owners, there was no evidence to suggest the managers falsified patient records.
"Given that Mr Fearon has admitted some instances of dispensing restricted substances and drugs of addiction without prescription and has been convicted of offences relating to such conduct, the credibility of his claims against [the owner] is low," the tribunal found.
"In our view, therefore, it is more likely than not that where a patient history records Mr Fearon as being the dispensing pharmacist he carried out the recorded supplies."
The tribunal heard Mr Fearon would dispense the drugs without a written prescription and record the prescriber as either Canberra or Woden Valley Hospital - Canberra Hospital's old name.
The commission argued there were striking similarities - and the modus operandi used in committing them - between the criminal offences Mr Fearon admitted and the further allegations put to the tribunal which he disputed.
Mr Fearon told the tribunal his motive for dispensing the drugs was a "desperately misplaced and poorly judged means ... to assist friends to acquire medications".
He said he was taken advantage of and supplied the drugs on the promise of prescriptions being provided.
Mr Fearon said he no longer associated with the people to whom he supplied the drugs and could no longer be subject to "pressure" from them.
But the tribunal found he failed to give a candid explanation for his conduct of supplying to a number of people over an extended period.
They said the order on his registration served the dual purpose of protecting the public from the risk that the offending conduct might be repeated and reminded the profession of the "grave consequences" of failing to comply with professional standards.
"That conduct not only constitutes an offence and puts at risk the health and safety of members of the public, it demonstrates a lack of integrity," the tribunal said.
"A puzzling feature of this case is why a person with an unblemished record, held in high regard by people of good repute, over an extended period dispensed medication to friends and acquaintances, including restricted substances and drugs of addiction without a prescription."