Doctor forged colleague’s prescription to get skin cream

December 8, 2021

A doctor forged a colleague’s signature on a prescription so he could get some steroid cream for a skin condition for himself.

Dr Fiachra McLaughlin appeared at Letterkenny District Court in Co Donegal charged with possession of a forged prescription.

The court heard how Dr McLaughlin, aged 37, visited Magee’s Chemist at Main Street in Letterkenny on October 19th, 2020.

The court was told that CCTV footage from the pharmacy showed Dr McLaughlin entering the premises and handing in a prescription.

However, it later transpired that the prescription was in the name of another doctor who had not signed it.

Solicitor for the accused, Mr Frank Dorrian said his client suffered with blood pressure issues and a skin complaint.

He stressed there was no addictive element to the prescription.

He said the prescription was to be used to treat an allergic reaction which Dr McLaughlin had encountered.

The cream was intended to be used to bring down an inflamation of the skin, he added.

Mr Dorrian said his client had obtained previous prescriptions from the same GP but on this occasion he took a “shortcut.”

The solicitor said that if Dr McLaughlin had taken the time the prescription would have been available upon request.

“There are no addictive elements and there are no underlying concerns.

“It is not on the higher end of the scale and there is no dark side to this,” added Mr Dorrian.

Dr McLaughlin, with an address at Cavan Hill House, Cavan Hill, Lifford, was charged under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Garda Sergeant Gerard Dalton said Dr McLaughlin had been very cooperative when approached by Gardai about the incident.

Judge Raymond Finnegan said he would deal with the charge by way of donation to a charity.

He ordered the doctor to make a donation of €400 to Pieta House and adjourned the case.