Beware the Schedule 8 minefield


white pills - look like codeine combination OTCs

The importance of correctly storing and recording transactions of Schedule 8 medicines has been reinforced by three recent pharmacy disciplinary hearings.

Schedule 8 medicines were the common factor in each of three recent cases heard by the Victorian Pharmacy Authority.

In all three cases, summarised in the VPA’s recent communique, the pharmacy proprietor was “found to have failed to comply with the Act and/or there was a failure of good pharmaceutical practice at the registered premises”.

One pharmacy, a repeat offender (with matters having been raised on previous inspection) had failed to ensure ”records of all transactions in S8 poisons used for opioid replacement therapy showed the true and accurate balance of each S8 poison remaining in their possession after each transaction.”

This pharmacy had also failed to adequately label methadone solution. It was also cited for not maintaining a pharmacy pharmacotherapy procedures manual or current editions of mandatory references.

The owner was reprimanded and required to develop a procedures manual.

In another case the pharmacy was found to have failed to store S8 medicines in a S8 poisons safe and failed to have ensured secure attachment of the safe to a wall or floor. They were also cited for not maintaining prescription reception and counselling points fitted with privacy screens.

The proprietor was cautioned and required to develop and submit copies of written procedures for the management of S8 medicines.

In the final case, pharmacy proprietors were cautioned after their store was also found that failed to maintain records of all S8 transactions showing “the true and accurate balance of each Schedule 8 poison remaining in their possession after each transaction”.

They had also failed to record S8 transactions as soon as practical and had not complied with S8 safe key storage requirements, the panel ruled.

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