‘Failures of good pharmacy practice’

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A pharmacy owner has been reprimanded for failing to maintain accurate S8 records – with evidence of 43 unprocessed transactions in two weeks

In January 2019 the Victorian Pharmacy Authority held two panel hearings into allegations that licensees had failed to meet their responsibilities to comply with the Pharmacy Regulation Act 2010 and/or good pharmacy practice at registered premises.

The first case found a pharmacy owner had failed to maintain accurate records for Schedule 8 poisons, stated the Authority.

“Transactions were not recorded in the Schedule 8 drug register as soon as practicable after completing transactions and there was evidence of 43 unprocessed transactions over a two-week period,” it found.

“The rate of barcode scanning during dispensing was unacceptably low and there was no procedure for monitoring drug refrigerator temperatures.”

The Authority also found breaches of privacy relating to disposal of confidential waste, transfer of dispensed medicines in open baskets to the cash and wrap counter, and dose administration aid header cards were being sorted on a counter visible to the public – in addition to other failures of good pharmacy practice.

It reprimanded the pharmacist, and imposed a condition requiring them to undertake and submit to quarterly self audits of the pharmacy.

The Panel also required the licensee to submit additional evidence to demonstrate rectification of matters and the Authority subsequently directed that the pharmacy be reinspected at the licensee’s cost.

In a second case, pharmacy owners were cautioned after altering the registered premises – including relocating the dispensary – without the prior approval of the Authority.

As a result of the unapproved alterations, a monitored alarm system was not installed at the pharmacy in accordance with VPA Guidelines.

Other deficiencies included inadequate attachment of a Schedule 8 poisons safe and storage of the keys to the safe, absence of privacy screens at prescription reception and counselling points, failure to maintain the dispensary as a private area dedicated to the dispensing of medicines and an unacceptable rate of barcode scanning during dispensing.

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