Pharmacy council prosecutes owner of two pharmacies

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The pharmacy owner was convicted and fined for two offences related to business obligations

The Pharmacy Council of New South Wales recently prosecuted the owner of two pharmacy businesses for operating a pharmacy business in premises not approved by the Council, and for operating a pharmacy business in the absence of a pharmacist.

The owner pled guilty on both counts and was sentenced at the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney.

Having regard to the agreed facts, Magistrate Carolyn Huntsman found the offences to be at the mid-range of objective seriousness.

She made orders for convictions to be recorded on the pharmacy owner’s criminal record on both charges and issued a fine of $8,500.

During sentencing, Magistrate Huntsman noted that pharmacists are in positions of trust and provide services to vulnerable people.

The NSW Pharmacy Council said her remarks served as a valuable reminder to all financial interest holders about the seriousness of their obligations.

“Financial interest holders should be aware of their obligations under the National Law. Each time an offence of this nature occurs, patients’ health and safety is put at risk,” said the Council in its recent announcement of the case.

“Legislation in Australia restricts the ownership of pharmacy businesses to pharmacists. In New South Wales, those restrictions and concurrent obligations are found in Schedule 5F of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW).

“Pharmacists should be aware that under the National Law, unsatisfactory professional conduct includes failures to observe obligations relating to the operation of pharmacy businesses.”

Current and prospective financial interest holders are reminded to familiarise themselves with the Pharmacy Board of Australia’s Guidelines for proprietor pharmacists.

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