Pharmacy owners reprimanded, cautioned

Dangerous compounding and unhygienic dose administration filling areas are just a selection of reasons why owners were pulled up before recent panel hearings

Pharmacy owners have been reprimanded for allowing a person to undertake complex compounding as a separate business in the pharmacy without approval from the Victorian Pharmacy Authority (VPA).

The compounding was found to have been undertaken without a laboratory, a powder containment cabinet and appropriate personal protective equipment – exposing staff to potential harm through exposure to hazardous substances such as hormones.

Eye drops were also compounded in the pharmacy which did not meet standards for the preparation of sterile products, the VPA found.

There were widespread discrepancies in recorded balances of Schedule 8 poisons when compared to stock on hand, and a drug refrigerator was not equipped with a temperature data logger.

Additionally, the dispensary was not dedicated to dispensing and consumer information was identified in discarded documents.

In a second case, a non-pharmacist staff member was found to have accessed the pharmacy prior to opening for business and when a registered pharmacist was not present.

Pharmacy keys and entry devices were not restricted to registered pharmacists.

“These are breaches of the Pharmacy Regulation Act 2010,” says the VPA.

The licensee maintained that the staff member obtained keys and entry to the pharmacy without their knowledge.

However the Authority reminded all licensees and pharmacists in charge that access to closed pharmacies and pharmacy departments by a person in the absence of a registered pharmacist is an offence under the Act for which they may be liable.

The licensee was reprimanded in an April hearing.

This pharmacy also had deficiencies in mandatory references, inadequate labelling of dose administration aids and failure to maintain a temperature data logger in the drug refrigerator.

In a third case, the VPA found there were not adequate arrangements in place to ensure that medicines were not re-used after dispensing and after they had left the pharmacy.

Returned and unwanted or expired medicines were not quarantined in a secure manner and disposed of regularly in accordance with good pharmacy practice.

There were discrepancies in Schedule 8 poisons and dispensed S8 medicines held for packing dose administration aids were not stored securely. The dose administration filling area was not maintained in a clean and hygienic manner.

The privacy of dispensed medicines was not maintained in the pharmacy, and confidential information was present in discarded records and containers.

 The licensee was cautioned.

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  1. Tony Lee

    And are these ‘owners’ multiple owners?
    A little more information would be helpful. The taps on the fingers do not seem commensurate with the ‘crimes’.

    • Sheshtyn Paola

      Hi Tony,
      Each case is relevant to licensee/s for that pharmacy. There is limited information on whether these are individual pharmacists or a group of pharmacists. The first compounding case seems to involve more than one person, while the second and third were referred to as a singular ‘licensee’.
      Kind regards,
      Sheshtyn Paola (author)

  2. Ex-Pharmacist

    Well done Victorian Pharmacy Authority (VPA).
    The last bastion of pharmacy standards vigilance and enforcement.
    Outside Victoria, its a free-for-all.

  3. Apotheke

    No fine or realistic penalties imposed so nothing will change.

  4. Still a Pharmacist

    Good to see that owners were cautioned. Is there any other profession, where the employee gets sued for making mistake in service and all the profit from that service goes to the owner?

    • Ex-Pharmacist

      None that I can think of.
      Pharmacy is in a class of its own…

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