Mr Elias Juanas, the owner of Elias Pharmacy, has been found guilty of Unsatisfactory Professional Conduct. The Pharmacy Council rebuked Mr Juanas after a long investigation that uncovered a wide range of alarming practices, including his dealings (and his Pharmacy’s dealings) with Mr Sam Cohen of the Institute of Hair Regrowth & Beauty (IHRB).
Despite his protests that he had ‘done nothing wrong’, the Panel that presided over the Inquiry was satisfied that Mr Elias Juanas was indeed Guilty on many counts, and that is why they formally rebuked him and chastised him. The Council was in receipt of evidence presented before it by the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC), after a complaint by the Deputy Chief Pharmacist (of the Ministry of Health’s Pharmaceutical Services Unit), acting on my complaint that Mr Cohen was still breaking the law by sourcing his dubious hair lotions from Elias Pharmacy.
Mr Elias Juanas had been warned by me and by the HCCC that Mr Cohen is bad news, and that, what Elias Pharmacy was doing, was totally wrong (legally and medically). Mr Juanas refused to take action. He once told me that if someone was going to make money out of Sam Cohen’s business, then why should he miss out!
Mr Juanas has been a pharmacist for over 30 years. He has enough experience to know right from wrong. I warned him, yet he still preferred to go for the money, rather than obey the law. Until… one day… his pharmacy was raided, and heaps of other irregularities were found. Instead of being a model pharmacist for his son, who is also now a pharmacist, Elias Juanas took no notice of the warning bells.
Now, his career has been blemished. His conduct has been exposed. His bad behaviour and potentially-dangerous practices have been officially rebuked by the investigating body.
If only he had listened. This exercise brings shame upon his business. It no doubt cost him a lot in legal fees. As the evidence would have shown, his judgement-of-error was more a decision-to-make-money. In my opinion, this comes down to greed, and not to a mistake. I can say this because I had warned Elias Pharmacy so many times.
What made matters worse, and why Messrs Juanas and Mamblona garner no sympathy from me, is that, when duped clients of IHRB took their case to the Consumer Tribunal, Elias Pharmacy was NOT AT ALL helpful, and simply ignored the victims’s request for information to which victims were entitled.
The victims were the very victims to whom Elias Pharmacy had a duty-of-care. Elias Pharmacy was benefiting from the (illegal) sale of goods to Sam Cohen who then illegally on-sold the Minoxidil to the victims. A sad and sorry state of affairs, fuelled by greed. By the way, it was not only the sale of goods against the doctor’s prescriptions (and at times without a prescription) but the addition of Sam Cohen’s dubious Indian Curries into the solutions, without the pharmacists knowing if those Indian Curries were safe, useful, harmful, lethal, effective, or otherwise — and adding them despite no doctor every prescribing them!
Below, we see photos from the day I visited Elias Pharmacy, requesting an interview. That invitation for an interview is still open, and I invite Mr Elias Juanas to contact me for a radio interview at any time. As for what happened to his colleague Mr Roberto Mamblona: standby for an update shortly. Mr Mamblona was also found guilty of Unsatisfactory Professional Conduct for his part in the whole affair.
Both pharmacists have special conditions imposed upon them, including special tutorials that they must undertake. In other words, they were sent back to school to learn the basics.
You can keep an eye on Elias Juanas’ reprimand and conditions at the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency’s website .