A pharmacist who cheated the NHS out of more than £76,000 in a prescription scam has been jailed for 16 months.
Michael Lloyd, 52, made fraudulent claims on 1,500 prescriptions from his Talbot Pharmacy at Talbot Green, Rhondda Cynon Taff.
Examples included billing the NHS for £12,000 for the dementia drug Donepezil while dispensing medication worth £233.
Lloyd, of Talbot Green, admitted fraud at Cardiff Crown Court.
The court heard Lloyd, who part-owned the pharmacy, changed information on tablet and liquid medication by “crossing out and using Tippex”.
Prosecutor Peter Donnison said: “The fraud was that Lloyd had prescribed the cheaper form of medication but then billed the NHS for the more expensive liquid form.
“There is no suggestion that other pharmacies in the area were involved and no patients were put at risk.”
Defence barrister James Hartson said Lloyd qualified as a pharmacist in 1990 and set up the Talbot Pharmacy in 2008 with his brothers.
“There is a degree of shame and embarrassment,” he said.
“This was a career pharmacist whose career has come crashing down in an embarrassing and public way.”
‘Fall from grace’
The court heard Lloyd repaid the money he scammed from Cwm Taf University Health Board within a week of being charged.
Judge Neil Bidder said: “This was a carefully calculated fraud and it was motivated by just one thing – greed.
“You will never work as a pharmacist again. Your fall from grace is complete.”
Following the case, NHS counter fraud specialist Mark Weston said the sentence sent out a “very strong message”.
“There was no other reason for him to commit this fraud other than to line his pockets and he’s paid heavily in the price for that,” he added.