Pharmacists pulled up on regulatory infractions

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Recording discrepancies and irregularities are some of the allegations behind recent panel hearings – plus one case of a pharmacist carrying on business without a licence

There have been four panel hearings held in the first quarter of 2018 into allegations that licensees had failed to meet their responsibilities to comply with pharmacy regulations, according to the Victorian Pharmacy Authority.

In one case, a pharmacist was reprimanded for carrying on a pharmacy business without having been granted a licence.

The owner had lodged the appropriate application but had both failed to submit the required notification and pay the associated licence fee at the time of settlement of purchase of the pharmacy.

In another case, a licensee was cautioned after an inspection revealed “multiple irregularities” in the recording of transactions of Schedule 8 poisons.

For example, aggregated daily records were kept for methadone but the volume used daily was not transferred to the register as required under the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Regulations 2017.

A third panel hearing found a pharmacy had not been recording transactions properly.

“Of 70 Schedule 8 poisons, in only one instance did the records agree with the quantity present,” the panel found.

It also found current prescriptions were not readily accessible at this pharmacy, and neither a procedure manual nor completed certifications were available.

The initials of the pharmacist responsible for filling or checking the contents of dose administration containers were also not included in the records.

The proprietor was reprimanded and imposed with a condition requiring the licensee to carry out quarter self-audits of the pharmacy, with the premises to be reinspected at the licensee’s cost.

In a fourth case, a licensee was called to a panel hearing due to allegations of unsatisfactory accounting for transactions in S8 poisons.

S3 poisons were also found to have been stored in a manner that promoted or drew undue attention to them, and codeine-containing medicines were not displayed in accordance with the Authority’s guidelines.

In addition, barcode scanning was not routinely undertaken and there was no procedure to monitor temperatures in the drug refrigerator.

The Authority referred the matter to both the Pharmacy Board of the Australia and the Department of Health, and directed a reinspection at the licensee’s cost.

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