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PSGB v Storkwain Ltd [1986] 2 All ER 635 House of Lords

The appellant, a pharmacist was convicted of an offence under s.58(2) of the Medicines Act 1968 of supplying prescription drugs without a prescription given by an appropriate medical practitioner. The appellant had allowed prescription drugs to be supplied on production of fraudulent prescriptions whereby a doctor’s signature had been copied. The appellant was not party to the fraud and had no knowledge of the forged signatures and believed the prescriptions were genuine.


The offence was one of strict liability and the conviction was upheld. The House of Lords looked at other sections of the Medicines Act 1968 and found that some sections referred to a requirement of mens rea whereas other sections did not. They concluded that the omission to refer to mens rea in s.58 must therefore have been deliberate and so the presumption of mens rea was rebutted.
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