No-show pharmacist likely to lose rego

A pharmacist has claimed that being “distracted and very busy” caused her to give tramadol to a patient after hours

The mainstream media has reported on the case of a Melbourne pharmacist who was a no-show at a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal hearing earlier this week.

In her absence, the Tribunal heard that the pharmacist had been administering tramadol to a patient in 2018 in amounts “well in excess” of safe quantities.

This took place after the pharmacy where she worked was closed for the day, it heard.

While the pharmacist reportedly accepted responsibility for the conduct at the time, she said that it had happened because she was “distracted and very busy”.

In December 2018, the Pharmacy Board placed a number of conditions on her registration, including that she must be mentored by an approved registered pharmacist in relation to dispensing guidelines and other applicable practice standards.

She also required mentoring from this person regarding paediatric dosages and opioid dosages/analgesics with opioid-like activity.

The Board required that this mentoring should comprise at least three sessions of one hour each.

It said that within a month of the end of this mentoring, the pharmacist mentee must provide a report demonstrating, to the Board’s satisfaction, that she had reflected on the issues in question and outlining how she had incorporated them into her practise.

But the Tribunal heard this week that since then, she had ignored “repeated” warnings to undertake these conditions, News Corp media report.

According to the Herald Sun, after being cautioned that she needed to comply with the conditions, she “continued to stonewall authorities,” sparking legal action by the Board.

At the hearing, the Board alleged that her conduct was “very dangerous” and a risk to community safety.

It said there was an “assumption” that she was still working for a pharmacy in the local area.

The Tribunal decided the allegations were proven, and found her guilty of professional misconduct.

While she is currently registered to practise, the Tribunal noted that, “It is highly likely we will cancel the registration of [the pharmacist]”.

The Board is also asking for her to be reprimanded and handed a fine of up to $30,000.

The Tribunal is yet to make a decision on orders.

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