Failing to comply with good pharmacy practice


codeine medicines

Two recent panel hearings pulled licensees up on poor S8 records and not maintaining premises in a clean and hygienic manner

There were two recent panel hearings into allegations that licensees had failed to meet their responsibilities to comply with legislation or good pharmacy practice at registered premises, says the Victorian Pharmacy Authority.

In the first case, S8 poisons were not stored in a safe, contrary to the legislation.

These included dispensed medicines held for the purpose of filling dose administration aids and a raw material for compounding.

Records of transactions in S8 poisons were not made as soon as practicable and did not show true and accurate balances remaining, the authority found.

Additionally medicines were compounded in premises that did not meet the requirements of VPA Guidelines and batch quantities were prepared, rather than compounding only on the basis of prescriptions or orders received for individual patients.

This same licensee was found to have premises that were not maintained in a clean and hygienic manner. They were reprimanded, and a condition imposed on the licence requiring a reinspection of the pharmacy at the licensee’s cost.

The panel also required the licensee to develop and submit a copy of a written procedure for the management of S8 poisons at the pharmacy and complete a pharmacotherapy self-audit.

In a second case, the VPA found records of transactions in S8 poisons were not made as soon as practicable, did not show true and accurate balances remaining, and in some cases did not accurately reflect the person recording the transaction.

The S8 safe was not dedicated to the storage of drugs of dependence and a procedure for the monitoring of drug refrigerator temperatures had not been implemented.

Current editions of several mandatory references were not maintained at the premises, the authority also found.

The licensee was cautioned and required to develop and submit a copy of a written procedure for the management of S8 poisons at the pharmacy.

The Pharmacy Board requires current editions of key reference texts in hard copy or via electronic means to be readily accessible to pharmacists, reminds the VPA.

“Licensees and pharmacists in charge are responsible for ensuring that current editions of the required references are available at registered premises on an ongoing basis,” it says.

“Coming into the New Year is a good time to ensure your reference library is complete and current to support good pharmacy practice. VPA inspectors will maintain their focus on references in 2020.”

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