- London chemists found to be selling antibiotics and drugs like Valium and opiates without a prescription
- Researchers also bought temazepam - a potentially lethal sleeping tablet if wrongly used
- Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham said high street pharmacists were 'acting like small time dRogue chemists have been accused of acting like ‘small-time drug-pushers’ after they were discovered selling anti-depressants, sleeping pills and Viagra on the black market.Undercover reporters were able to buy potentially lethal substances such as Valium and temazepam from pharmacies over the counter without a prescription.The BBC Inside Out investigation last night revealed a dangerous trade where chemists are risking lives by selling patients prescription drugs before they have seen a doctor.The potentially lethal sleeping tablet temazepam was bought without advice on the correct dosage, while the anti-anxiety drug benzodiazepine – which doctors say can cause death if patients stop using it suddenly – and drugs that can be highly addictive, including Valium, were sold over the counter for as little as £85.A bottle of the powerful painkiller morphine was bought for £200, with the chemist allegedly telling the reporter posing as a patient to drink as much as he wanted.It is illegal for pharmacists to sell such drugs without a prescription unless it is a medical emergency.The maximum sentence for those convicted is two years in prison.But the health regulator has taken only one pharmacy in England to a hearing for selling drugs without a prescription this year.Undercover BBC reporters visited the pharmacies and for some drugs paid more than 20 times the price it would have cost them using an NHS prescription, which costs £7.65 in England but is free in the rest of the UK.Nine chemists in west London sold the reporters 288 Valium tablets, 21 temazepam tablets, 294 antibiotic tablets, 24 Viagra tablets and a bottle of Oramorph painkiller.Chemists are allowed to sell Viagra over the counter – but only if the patient passes a series of health tests and fills out a questionnaire.Temazepam, which is popular with heroin users wanting to wean themselves off the drug, must be kept locked away due to its potential for abuse.Last year, 293 people died from misuse of anti-anxiety drugs - more than double the total killed by cocaine and ecstasy.Labour health spokesman Andy Burnham said after watching last night’s programme: 'People will be shocked to see pharmacists acting like small-time drug-pushers.'This is unacceptable on every level, so there has to be a proper look at whether the system that regulates pharmacies is fit for purpose.'Dr William Shanahan, lead clinician at the Central and North West London NHS Trust, said: 'These pharmacists are electing to bypass the checks and balances of these potentially dangerous drugs and putting patients’ lives at huge risk.'Pharmacies are regulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of the GPhC, said: 'We are already investigating a number of allegations that pharmacies in London have supplied medicines illegally.'The MHRA said: 'The evidence shown in the programme is clearly of concern and we will be working with the GPhC to further investigate this.'All nine chemists refused to comment when shown the undercover footage.rug pushers'