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Man fined and suspended for stealing drugs

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 29/05/2017

A man has been fined, censured and suspended for stealing a "potentially dangerous drug" to help his partner's anxiety and insomnia.

A man, identified only as a "health practitioner" in the ruling by the New Zealand Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal issued on Monday, stole propofol over a four-month period from his employer.

Propofol is a sedative and short-acting anaesthetic agent that can lead to a decreased level of consciousness and memory loss.

"It is a potentially dangerous drug, particularly in unsupervised hands," the tribunal ruling said.

The theft of the propofol, valued at $4669, was discovered after his employer realised there had been a sharp increase in the use of the drug and carried out an audit.

The man said he did not steal the drug for financial gain but for his partner, who suffered anxiety and insomnia, although he admitted using propofol on occasion himself to relieve stress.

The theft and admitted self-use of propofol meant the tribunal had no difficulty in finding the man guilty.

Along with a nine-month suspension from practising and a censure, the man would be subjected to supervision at his workplace, would attend an ethics course and be required to disclose his conviction for three years to any future employers.

He was also fined $7800.

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