Faxed S8 requests and expired drugs


pharmacist double checking prescription

The Pharmacy Board has published two case summaries to highlight pharmacists’ obligations… including one where S8s were regularly dispensed with no valid script

In its latest newsletter, the Board has highlighted that proprietors need to maintain an active interest in how pharmacy is practised in their operations.

“Increasingly pharmacies are involved with dispensing medicines to patients in aged-care facilities,” the Board says.

“In this case, the pharmacy had one owner and employed a number of pharmacists who dispensed medicines regularly to a local aged-care facility.

“Pharmacists had supplied Schedule 8 medicines based on requests received via facsimile without the prescriber presenting a valid prescription. 

“State and territory drugs and poisons legislation sets out the legal requirements for the supply of medicines. On this occasion no attempt was made to ensure that the supply of medicines met these requirements.”

In this case, the Board found that the pharmacy’s owner had practised the profession in a way which was, or could be, unsatisfactory in that he did not keep himself fully informed as to how these transactions were managed in his store.

It pointed out that its Guidelines for proprietor pharmacists state that proprietors must keep themselves aware of how pharmacy is practices in their businesses – and that if there are shortcomings, they intervene to ensure laws, standards and guidelines are kept to.

“If the proprietor is not the pharmacist-in-charge he/she must have in place processes (such as regular staff meetings and discussions about practice issues) so that errors can be identified and practice corrected where required,” the Board says.

“The outcome was that the proprietor and the dispensing pharmacists received cautions.”

 

Expired meds

The Board also warned that it is still receiving notifications about expired medicines being dispensed to patients.

This was not the first time that the Board has raised this issue in its newsletter.

“The expiry date of every dispensed medicine must be checked to ensure that the medicine is in date for the expected duration of treatment,” it says.

“A good dispensing process, with a number of routine checks including an expiry date check, should be in place and observed every time a medicine is dispensed.”

It encouraged pharmacists to review PDL’s Guide to Good Dispensing in order to help them evaluate and improve their dispensing practice, and to reduce dispensing errors including supply of expired medicines.

“You also need to leave the manufacturer’s expiry date visible when labelling a dispensed medicine to ensure that patients or clients, carers and/or other healthcare providers have access to this information if needed,” it says.

“To further minimise the risk of supplying an expired medicine, processes should be in place in the pharmacy for the periodic checking of expiry dates of stock, easy identification of near-outdated stock, and appropriate disposal of any expired stock.”

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