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Wednesday, 8 August, 2001, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
Doctor investigated in princess suicide
Princess Leila Pahlavi
Pincess Leila died from non-dependent drug abuse
A doctor who prescribed drugs to the Shah of Iran's daughter before she died from an overdose will be investigated by the Home Office.

An inquest heard how Dr Mangad Iqbal prescribed Princess Leila Pahlavi 270 tablets of the so-called "date rape" drug Rohypnol to help her sleep.

He also arranged for her to have 130 barbiturates before he had even met her.

Westminster coroner, Dr Paul Knapman, ordered a home office investigation into the doctor's prescribing methods and recorded a verdict of death from non-dependent drug abuse.

Dr Mangad Iqbal
Dr Iqbal's prescription systems will be looked at
Princess Leila Pahlavi was found dead in her bed at the Leonard Hotel in west London on 10 June.

The inquest heard how Dr Iqbal wrote his first prescription for the princess in July 1999 after another patient told him she needed the drugs.

In September that year he gave her another prescription at the request of her chemist, again without meeting her.

At the princess's first appointment with Dr Iqbal in December 1999, she refused to answer questions about her medical history or have a blood test.

'Tragic end'

Dr Iqbal said the princess showed no signs of drug addiction, although when she visited him in May she disappeared from his office and several prescriptions went missing, which have never been traced.

The coroner said the princess had a history of anorexia, bulimia and psychological problems and had been to detox clinics in America.

He described her as seeming "frail and unhappy", and said: "This has been a tragic end to a sad life."

Dr Knapman continued: "Following this inquest I will formally request of Mr Gerrard (John Gerrard, a senior inspector with the Home Office's drugs inspectorate) that he look into the systems operating by Dr Iqbal in respect of his issuing prescriptions for drugs in schedule two of the Misuse of Drugs regulations."

Mr Gerrard had told the inquest that the question of whether the doctor was either unprofessional or unethical was a matter for the GMC.

See also:

12 Jun 01 | UK
Shah's daughter found dead
12 Jun 01 | Middle East
Shah's daughter 'could not stand' exile
11 Jun 01 | Middle East
Timeline: Iran
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