SA phar­ma­cist rep­ri­mand

Pharmacy Daily - - Front Page -

AN ADE­LAIDE phar­ma­cist has been for­mally sanc­tioned for in­ap­pro­pri­ate dis­pens­ing of S8 drugs, with his ac­tions per­mit­ting the di­ver­sion of oxy­codone within the phar­macy.

The South Aus­tralian Health Prac­ti­tion­ers Tri­bunal this week re­leased the rea­sons for the de­ci­sion fol­low­ing a hear­ing which took place on 11 Oct 2018.

The al­leged dis­pens­ing con­duct oc­curred be­tween Oct 2014 and May 2015, with a for­mal com­plaint say­ing the phar­ma­cist pro­vided oxy­codone from the phar­macy safe to a staff mem­ber pack­ing Web­ster packs for aged care home clients with­out a valid pre­scrip­tion from a par­tic­u­lar pa­tient’s doc­tor.

De­spite the amount of oxy­codone pro­vided sub­stan­tially ex­ceed­ing that pa­tient’s monthly re­quire­ments, the phar­ma­cist is also al­leged to have con­tin­ued to sup­ply the staff mem­ber with the S8 med­i­ca­tion, did not al­ways make timely en­tries in the drug of de­pen­dence regis­ter, and failed to en­sure that once packed into Web­ster packs the oxy­codone was re­turned to the phar­macy safe.

The Tri­bunal said the dis­pens­ing con­duct was sus­tained and se­ri­ous, and in­volved fail­ures across a range of phar­macy prac­tice in­clud­ing not check­ing pre­scrib­ing his­tory; tak­ing steps to dis­pense with­out a pre­scrip­tion; fail­ing to take pre­cau­tions to su­per­vise a tech­ni­cian; fail­ure to record S8 drugs in the regis­ter; and fail­ure to fol­low up on se­cur­ing med­i­ca­tions.

At the time of the al­leged con­duct the phar­ma­cist was aged 32, hav­ing first been reg­is­tered in 2010, and his coun­sel in the pro­ceed­ings pre­sented ev­i­dence that the phar­macy had a prac­tice of dis­pens­ing S8 med­i­ca­tions on a “script owing” ba­sis.

Fol­low­ing the no­ti­fi­ca­tion the phar­ma­cist lost his job, but had since un­der­taken rel­e­vant ed­u­ca­tion at his own ini­tia­tive and cost, with the is­sue hav­ing taken a sig­nif­i­cant toll on his men­tal health.

The Tri­bunal unan­i­mously found the con­duct con­sti­tuted pro­fes­sional mis­con­duct, and ruled that a rep­ri­mand needed to be im­posed for sev­eral rea­sons, in­clud­ing that it “puts other prac­ti­tion­ers on no­tice that such a de­par­ture from pro­fes­sional stan­dards will not be tol­er­ated”.

Sev­eral con­di­tions were also im­posed on the phar­ma­cist’s reg­is­tra­tion, in­clud­ing that he only prac­tise at his cur­rent place of em­ploy­ment, work un­der di­rect su­per­vi­sion when work­ing on any S8 med­i­ca­tion, be sub­ject to quar­terly re­port­ing and un­der­take men­tor­ing and spec­i­fied ed­u­ca­tion.

Phar­macy Daily has cho­sen not to name the rep­ri­manded phar­ma­cist.

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