World news wrapup: 21 March 2019

Brits stockpiling meds ahead of Brexit; NZ pharmacist censured; driver crashes into Wellington pharmacy

Waikato, New Zealand: A pharmacist has been censured after he was found guilty of professional misconduct, including over an incident where he left methadone sitting on a pharmacy counter overnight.

The methadone was subsequently stolen.

Stuff reports that the pharmacist also faced charges relating to failure to complete incident reports for two errors, leaving the pharmacy unattended on several occasions and asking colleagues to be untruthful as to where he was, failure to spot an incorrect label on a package of medicine, dispensing incorrect medicine for a script, and taking cash from the pharmacy’s till without permission from the employer.

A tribunal heard that not all of these events constituted professional misconduct, though a number of them did.

Failure to store methadone as required by legislation was negligent rather than requiring a disciplinary sanction in its own right, for example.

However, leaving the store on several occasions for period of 10 minutes or more, and asking colleagues to lie about where he was, ran contrary to the Pharmacy Council’s Code of Ethics.

The pharmacist was censured and ordered to pay NZ$35,400 (AUD$34,212) in legal costs. Conditions were placed on his return to the profession, including that he cannot be the manager or in sole charge of a pharmacy for a period of four weeks, that he work under an approved supervisor during this period and that he complete ethics training.


UK: Chemist + Druggist reports that 40% of its readers have seen or heard evidence that patients are stockpiling medicines ahead of Britain leaving the EU.

The data comes from a poll C+D ran on its website between January and March, which saw 128 readers respond.

Britain’s mainstream media has to date reported that stockpiling of not just medicines, but also food and drink, is taking place as Brexit looms.

Pharmacists who spoke to Chemist + Druggist said that fears and uncertainty around Brexit, including those around shortages of medicines, are an issue.

However, pharmacists are doing their best to alleviate such fears, and such stockpiling has not been “excessive,” readers said.


Wellington, New Zealand: A wheelchair-modified van has crashed into a pharmacy in north Wellington, smashing the store’s front window and part of its counter.

Bryony Newenham-Falk, an employee at the Johnsonville Medical Centre Pharmacy, said she thought a bomb had gone off when the van smashed into the window.

She told Stuff that customers had a lucky escape, as they were standing just to the side of the area where the van came into the pharmacy.

An elderly person who was driving the van was injured and taken to Wellington Hospital with minor injuries.

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