Christopher McGuire cost the manufacturer £2.4 million and saved himself only £7 by placing strips of an anti-psychotic drug in empty packets of the painkiller and swapping them for new packets at pharmacies.
At Southwark Crown Court in London yesterday, Judge Alistair McCreath told McGuire, 31, from Edzell Drive in Glasgow: “Your acts caused very considerable financial harm, amounting to well over £2 million.”
The court heard his scheme involved asking for Nurofen Plus at a pharmacy counter and then trying to pay for it with a card he knew would be declined. In doing this, he created sufficient distraction to discreetly swap the contaminated packet for the fresh one and walk away.
McGuire took 32 tablets of the drug each day to feed his secret addiction. But after losing his job, he struggled to pay for it.
Instead, he replaced empty packets with the Seroquel he was prescribed for schizophrenia. The contaminated packs ended up in the hands of unsuspecting members of the public.
He was traced to his landlady’s home in Kent after the origins of the Seroquel were traced.