A pharmacist who was struck off the register for breaching conditions of registration must pay costs within 28 days
A pharmacist who was found guilty of professional misconduct and struck off the register for breaching conditions on his practice has now been ordered to pay significant costs.
Emson Nyoni, who owned and operated a rural pharmacy in Western Australia between 2003 and 2014, was convicted in January 2013 of six offences under the Poisons Act, including failure to maintain a register of drugs of addiction and failure to ensure that the pharmacy’s drug safe was locked at all times.
He was ultimately fined $10,000 in respect of his convictions.
Following this, the Department of Health informed Mr Nyoni that as of May 2013, his authority to manufacture, possess, use, sell or supply Schedule 8 drugs was revoked.
However it was found that Mr Nyoni continued supplying Schedule 8 drugs at the pharmacy in breach of the conditions – on 131 occasions between 24 May 2013 and 17 April 2014, and on 38 occasions between 26 November 2013 and 17 April 2014.
In a decision on penalties delivered in June, Mr Nyoni was reprimanded and had his registration cancelled. He is unable to apply for reregistration for at least two years.
The Pharmacy Board of Australia has now successfully argued its case for Mr Nyoni to pay to cover most of its legal fees.
While the Board’s total costs were over $18,000, the State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia also took into account that Mr Nyoni has now lost his profession as a result of the orders, deciding to fix costs at $13,000.
In its decision, the Tribunal said: “It is important in the public interest that if a regulatory body is successful in bringing professional disciplinary proceedings against a practitioner, that it is able to recover at the very least a significant proportion of the costs incurred in the proceeding.
“Mr Nyoni was found by the Tribunal to have engaged in unprofessional conduct of a most serious kind.
“He failed to participate at all in the proceeding and put the applicant to the costs of proof. The applicant was wholly successful in all of the contentions made and clearly, in the Tribunal’s view, ought to recover costs against Mr Nyoni.”
Mr Nyoni must pay the full amount of $13,000 within 28 days of the date of the order, which was handed down on 29 July.