Pharmacist reprimanded, has conditions imposed for professional misconduct

14 Dec 2016

A Western Australian pharmacist has been reprimanded, ordered to pay costs and has had conditions imposed on her registration after admitting to engaging in professional misconduct.

The Pharmacy Board of Australia (the Board) decided to investigate Ms Cornelia Naude on 1 July 2014 after receiving information that revealed she dispensed a number of Schedule 4 medications without prescriptions.

The Board referred the matter to the State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia (the Tribunal) pursuant to section 193(1)(a)(i) of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (WA) (the National Law). In referring the matter, the Board reasonably believed that Ms Naude behaved in a way that constitutes professional misconduct.

During the course of the Tribunal proceedings, Ms Naude admitted that she engaged in professional misconduct as defined in section 5 of the National Law between 8 February 2011 and about 25 November 2013. She admitted to conduct including:

  • dispensing to herself nine Schedule 4 medicines including anti-inflammatory medication and antibiotics without a prescription, contravening regulation 36 of the Poisons Regulations 1965 (WA) (Regulations)
  • dispensing 22 Schedule 4 medicines including anti-inflammatory medications, antibiotics and a steroid cream to three other members of her immediate family without a prescription, also contravening regulation 36 of the Regulations
  • on two occasions, failing to record the correct name of the patient to whom a Schedule 4 medicine was supplied in the pharmacy’s dispensing records, contravening section 31 of the Poisons Act 1964 (WA) (Act) and regulations 36(3)(c)(ii)-(iii) of the Regulations
  • on 21 occasions, failing to record the correct name and address, or name and identifying initials, in the pharmacy’s dispensing records of the medical practitioner who apparently prescribed the relevant Schedule 4 medicine, contravening section 31 of the Act and regulations 36(3)(c)(ii)-(iii) of the Regulations; and
  • therefore failing to comply with the Code of Conduct for Registered Health Practitioners approved by the Board.

The Tribunal took into consideration Ms Naude’s participation in an investigation by AHPRA in respect of her conduct. Prior to formal mediation, she made concessions in respect of her offending conduct and potential sanctions, expressing regret for her conduct and willingness to undertake further education. The Tribunal accepted that her conduct was not motivated by financial gain.

On 3 October 2016, the Tribunal ordered by agreement that Ms Naude be reprimanded and that conditions be imposed on her registration. The conditions prohibit her from dispensing medications to herself and her immediate family for 12 months, and she must complete a program of education in relation to appropriate dispensing, ethical decision-making and record keeping.

On 9 November 2016, the tribunal ordered by agreement that Ms Naude pay a contribution of $7,000 towards the Board’s cost of the proceedings. The decision is published on the Tribunal’s website.

 
 
Page reviewed 14/12/2016