S8 handling criticised again

Handling of S8 medicines has again been highlighted by the Victorian Pharmacy Authority in its latest circular

“Poor record keeping of transactions of Schedule 8 poisons identified during inspections has continued to be the major reason for the Authority to convene panel hearings in recent months,” the Authority noted.

It cited two June 2016 panel hearings into allegations that licensees had failed to meet their responsibilities.

In the first case, a proprietor was found to have failed to comply with the Act and/or there was a failure of good pharmaceutical practice at the premises due to, “a failure to ensure that records of all transactions in Schedule 8 poisons showed the true and accurate balance of each Schedule 8 poison remaining in their possession after each transaction.”

The hearing also found “a display of Schedule 3 poisons containing codeine that did not meet the requirements of the Authority’s Guidelines”.

The second case involved both of these problems as well as a display of S2 products outside of the professional services area; the omission of displays of the proprietor’s name, the name of the pharmacist-in-charge and the name of the duty pharmacist; and unsatisfactory arrangements for the disposal of confidential client information.

Both proprietors were cautioned.

In July, the Authority had warned that some pharmacists were treating their obligations in safe handling and recording of S8 medicines with “contempt”.

“Professional privileges granted to pharmacists confer a fundamental duty on everyone to be responsible and accountable in managing all therapeutic goods,” PSA national vice president Michelle Lynch said at the time.

However, AJP readers reacted to the July reminder with concern, with one pointing out that “no mention is made of the fact that most pharmacists’ handling of S8’s is watertight.”

“Again, much criticism, little praise for a job mostly very well done under difficult conditions, and hardly any assistance in the few cases where improvement is required,” they wrote.

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