Seven panel hearings in two months


A state pharmacy authority has reprimanded several pharmacists and cautioned two others for breaching good pharmacy practice

In October and November this year, the Victorian Pharmacy Authority conducted seven panel hearings into allegations that licensees had failed to meet their responsibilities to comply with the Pharmacy Regulation Act 2010 and/or good pharmacy practice at registered premises.

In the first four cases, several applicants were reprimanded after they commenced ownership of pharmacy businesses without having been granted a licence.

The authority had approved the licence applications in principle, but the applicants had failed to notify the authority that settlement of purchase had taken place and pay their licence fees.

In a fifth panel hearing case, the licensee failed to maintain privacy and confidentiality of client records by disposing of records and containers as unsecured general rubbish, and placing medication charts on a counter which was accessible to the public.

There were also discrepancies in Schedule 8 poisons and no data logger in the drug refrigerator. The licensee was cautioned.

In a sixth case, a licensee provided false information in a licence application by declaring that a trust would not operate in association with the pharmacy business, notwithstanding that a trust deed had been executed prior to completion of the application.

However the panel accepted the licensee’s submission that this was due to an unintentional oversight and the licensee was cautioned.

And in a seventh case the directors of a pharmacy were reprimanded after inspectors identified several deficiencies including:

  • lack of routine barcode scanning during dispensing;
  • inadequate measures to ensure that the identity of clients’ medicines cannot be known by other clients present in the pharmacy;
  • failure to store Schedule 4 poisons including filled dose administration aids and filled returned/unwanted medicines in the dispensary or lockable facility;
  • failure to maintain adequate security, privacy and confidentiality of patient details and prescriptions;
  • failure to store pseudoephedrine containing products away from public view.

In addition to the reprimand, the panel imposed a condition on the pharmacy licence requiring quarterly self-auditing of the business by the licensee, and the authority subsequently directed that the pharmacy be reinspected at the licensee’s cost.

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