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Tribunal reprimands pharmacist for unprofessional conduct

02 Mar 2017

A pharmacist has been reprimanded with conditions imposed on his registration for unprofessional conduct.

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal) has reprimanded pharmacist Mr Hayden Swan and imposed conditions on his registration after finding he engaged in unprofessional conduct by inappropriately dispensing Sustanon 250 (testosterone) to a patient.

The Pharmacy Board of Australia (the Board) referred Mr Swan to the tribunal on 27 March 2015.

During the course of the tribunal proceedings, Mr Swan admitted that he engaged in unprofessional conduct by inappropriately dispensing testosterone to a patient on 31 May 2012. He also admitted that in dispensing the testosterone, he relied solely on the information the patient provided him despite having access to the dispensing history of the patient. These records showed that by 31 May 2012, the quantity of testosterone-based medications dispensed exceeded the usual dosage detailed in the MIMS Product Information for Sustanon and Primoteston.

Before dispensing the further nine ampoules of Sustanon, Mr Swan did not speak to the prescribing medical practitioner to obtain approval to dispense, verify whether it was reasonably necessary to dispense this amount or sufficiently assess the patient’s therapeutic need.

The Board and Mr Swan reached agreement that there should be a finding of unprofessional conduct and that the sanction should include a reprimand and conditions on his registration requiring him to complete an education course on professional ethics and dispensing. It was agreed that Mr Swan should also required to pay the Board’s costs.

The only area of dispute was on the appropriate review period for the proposed conditions. The Board sought a definite period of review of six months, while Mr Swan affirmed that the conditions should be reviewed upon his completion of the education course.

On 21 December 2016, the tribunal found that Mr Swan’s actions were in breach of his professional obligations under the various applicable codes, standards and guidelines. In considering the appropriateness of the proposed sanction, the tribunal took into account that:

  • although Mr Swan’s conduct was serious, it related to one incident in the course of his career as opposed to a sustained period of inappropriate dispensing
  • he had not previously come to the attention of the Board
  • he had demonstrated insight by making appropriate admissions and fully co-operating during the proceedings, and
  • at the time of the offending conduct, he was a relatively junior and inexperienced practitioner.

The tribunal agreed with the sanction proposed by the Board and Mr Swan. In respect of the disputed review period, the tribunal found that a definite review period for the conditions was required and accepted a period of six months as being appropriate.

The tribunal’s decision is published on AustLII

Page reviewed 2/03/2017