Struck-off doctor jailed for selling slimming pills

A struck-off doctor was jailed for selling slimming pills to patients across the country, police said.

Sudesh Madan, 57, of Homeway, Romford, Essex, was given an 18-month prison sentence at St Albans Crown Court yesterday after previously admitting four counts of possession with intent to supply a controlled drug and four counts of supplying a controlled drug. She also asked for eight other offences to be taken into consideration.

Hertfordshire Police said Madan admitted selling Phentermine and Diethylpropion slimming pills at Easy Slim clinics across the country.

A spokesman said she was arrested in December 2009 by the force's Serious and Organised Crime Group.

Police also searched clinics in Welwyn Garden City, Herts; Harlow, Essex; Wakefield, West Yorkshire; Huddersfield, West Yorkshire and Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

The searches revealed 24,599 Phentermine and 13,269 Diethylpropion tablets and capsules, police said.

A spokesman said it is believed Madan - who was known as Dr Ahmed to her patients in northern clinics - was operating the clinics from 2001, shortly after she was struck off the medical register by the General Medical Council.

She led her patients to believe she was a doctor and would prescribe them the pills after a consultation.

A week's worth of pills, which could help suppress appetite, would typically cost £20, police said.

Hertfordshire Police said they first discovered Madan's operation after an investigation into a fatal car crash in Hatfield in 2009. During routine enquiries the driver of the vehicle involved told officers she had been taking slimming pills prescribed by Madan.

The pills were not found to be the cause of the road traffic collision, police said today, but further inquiries led officers to become aware of Madan's clinics across the country.

Detective Inspector Ian Butler said: "Sudesh Madan ran a large-scale operation across the country, callously posed as a doctor and, without any care for her patients, prescribed these slimming pills, which could have put them at risk.

"We believe her motivation was greed and we are determined to use our powers to remove any profits she made from her actions.

"This has been a detailed and complex investigation which has seen officers working across the country and liaising with a number of police forces, trying to establish the full circumstances of this crime."

He advised anyone who may have been prescribed the tablets at these clinics to contact their GP or a local pharmacist for further healthcare advice.

Police said they will now conduct a financial investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act (2002) to seize any assets gained from the crime.