Send to

Overprescription of diet pills lead to drug charges

Nov. 29, 2023 - 15:10 By Yoon Min-sik

South Korean police said Wednesday that it is investigating two doctors on suspicion of overprescribing anorexiant, abuse of which can be prosecuted as a drug crime.

According to the Chungnam Provincial Police Agency, overseeing the police activities in South Chungcheong Province, a 50-year-old private practitioner and his 59-year-old partner is being questioned by police on possible violation of the Narcotics Control Act and the Medical Service Act.

The suspects allegedly prescribed 10 female patients anorexiant, in the amount that exceeds the safety standards provided by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, from July of 2022 to January of this year. They also neglected to leave records of the prescriptions on medical charts.

South Korean law strictly monitors and restricts use of medication that can induce addition or have drug components. Government-approved diet pills including phendimetrazine and phentermine, while legal, are categorized as psychotropic substances that the law defines as drugs.

As such, taking such pills without prescription, or overprescription of such drugs can be punished by law.

The drug investigation unit at CPPA had been jointly monitoring potential violations of Narcotics Act with the ministry in May of this year, when they spotted the overprecription. Police plan to continue working with related government bodies to curb drug crimes in the medical circles.