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What the latest AHPRA snapshot data tells us about pharmacist misdemeanors and demographics

The Pharmacy Board of Australia has released a snapshot of the profession in its end-of-financial year report, released at the end of November.

The pharmacy-specific statistical summary and a report from Board chair, Brett Simmonds, covering the work of the Pharmacy Board over the 12 months to 30 June 2019 is now available online.

The summary draws on data from the 2018/19 annual report of AHPRA and the National Boards. This information provides a snapshot of the pharmacy profession as at 30 June 2019, and includes the number of registered pharmacists, a breakdown by gender and age and outcomes of practitioner audits, the Board said.

Here’s some of the key findings from the snapshot for 2018/19:

The investigations

  • 398 notifications were lodged with AHPRA. Of these, 3 were made about students
  • 560 registered pharmacists – or 1.8% – had notifications made about them Australia-wide, including NSW and Queensland
  • 44 mandatory notifications were received. Of these, 34 were about professional standards
  • Immediate action was taken 19 times
  • 453 notifications were closed
    • 11.5% accepted an undertaking or conditions being imposed on their registration
    • 29.1% received a caution or reprimand
    • 1.5% registration suspended or cancelled
    • 6.0% referred to another body or retained by a health complaints entity (HCE)
    • 51.9% no further action taken
  • 139 pharmacists were monitored for health, performance and/or conduct during the year
  • 143 cases were being monitored at 30 June: 
    • 23 for health reasons
    • 30 for performance
    • 21 prohibited practitioner/student
    • 62 for suitability/eligibility for registration
    • 7 on the grounds of conduct
  • 16 criminal offence complaints were made and 21 closed
    • 11 new matters related to title protection
    • 4 related to advertising breaches
    • 1 to other offence
  • 26 matters were decided by a tribunal
  • 0 matters decided by a panel
  • 2 decisions appealed
  • 58% of complaints were made by a patient, relative or member of the public. 12% were made by another health professional
  • 59.8% of complaints related to medications, 7.3% to health impairment, 6.3% to clinical care, 4.8% to communication and 4.5% to behaviour

The Demographics:

  • 31,955 pharmacists – up 2.7% from 2017/18
  • 4.3% of all registered health practitioners
  • 0.3% identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • 62.8% female; 37.2% male
  • 98.5% compliant: fully compliant with the registration standards
  • 0.8% non-compliant with one or more standards
  • 0.8% no audit action required: during the audit period, practitioners changed their registration type to non-practising, elected to surrender their registration or failed to renew their registration


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