Pharmacy worker sold £35,000 of products on eBay

The pharmacy was located at Bonnyrigg Health Centre

The pharmacy was located at Bonnyrigg Health Centre

A PHARMACY worker stole thousands of pounds of products – and sold the lot on eBay.

Donna Wood took hundreds of packets of Nicorette inhalers and diabetic blood strips from the branch of Cohens chemist she had worked in for nine years.

The trusted employee pocketed around £35,000 from the scam whereby she sold the stolen pharmaceutical products to buyers on the popular internet auction site.

Wood, from Southhouse, was caught out after pharmacy bosses installed covert CCTV cameras following an internal audit had flagged up financial discrepancies within the branch.

The 52-year-old admitted stealing boxes of inhalators and blood testing strips from the chemist branch, which is located inside Bonnyrigg Health Centre, in a bid to pay off missed mortgage and council tax payments.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told on Thursday that the blood-testing strips are free on prescription to the public in Scotland but English NHS patients have to pay for them.

Fiscal depute Roseanne Chapman said pharmacy bosses conducted an internal audit at the branch in August 2014 and “high-value products had been ordered but not sold”.

The missing products included boxes of Nicolette inhalators, designed to help smokers quit the habit – and boxes of diabetic blood-testing strips.

Ms Chapman said: “An investigation was carried out by the pharmacy.

“They installed CCTV at the locus without the employees knowing.

“The accused was captured on CCTV placing a number of packets in a purple rucksack on May 14, 2015. The following morning a check was conducted and a number of test strips had been taken and were not accounted for.”

Ms Chapman added Wood was confronted by a security team outside the pharmacy in June 2015 and reported to the police over the thefts.

Wood’s home was then searched by officers and scores of boxes of products stolen from the pharmacy – including insulin needles – were found in her hallway and bedroom.

Paperwork discovered in the house led police to believe Wood had been selling the stolen items on eBay and an English buyer was identified.

The man was contacted and he confirmed that he had been buying boxes Nicolette inhalers and blood-testing strips from Wood for a number of years.

It was estimated the amount sold was around £35,000.

Wood’s solicitor Steven Donald said he was reserving his mitigation to the next hearing and Sheriff Frank Crowe deferred sentence until later this month.

newsen@edinburghnews.com