Professional misconduct


A pharmacist has been suspended for two months after he dispensed fentanyl without a script

The Pharmacy Board has highlighted a case in which Western Australia’s State Administrative Tribunal suspended a pharmacist’s registration and ordered him to undertake education in ethics and dispensing.

The pharmacist, Michael Man Ho Tse, was found to have engaged in professional misconduct.

The tribunal heard that between September and October 2016, Mr Tse dispensed fentanyl patches to a patient without a valid prescription or verbal authority from a medical practitioner.

These included on two occasions dispensing five Fentanyl 75mcg/hr patches to the patient on or around 25 and 30 September, 2016.

In October 2016 he dispensed 19 boxes (95 patches) of Fentanyl 75mcg/hr patches to the patient, again without a script or authority.

Mr Tse did not make any record of the fentanyl patches having been dispensed to the patient.

He also backdated the dates of prescriptions the patient did have from early October to 25 and 30 September, in order to reconcile the supply of patches for which there was no valid prescription.

Mr Tse admitted that he had engaged in professional misconduct, including his failure to make contact with a medical practitioner, though he had been aware that the patient’s prescribing doctor was away on a holiday.

The pharmacist, who had no prior history of misconduct, expressed remorse over the incidents.

He had cooperated with the Pharmacy Board of Australia and the WA Department of Health early in the investigation.

The tribunal ordered Mr Tse to complete a program of education in relation to ethics and dispensing in pharmacy practice.

Part of the conditions placed on Mr Tse was for him to be mentored by another registered pharmacist every month over six months.

Mr Tse also paid a contribution of $1,500 to the Pharmacy Board of Australia’s costs.

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