Pharmacist’s registration cancelled for professional misconduct

16 Jul 2019

A pharmacist in Western Australia has been reprimanded, had his registration cancelled and has been disqualified from applying for registration for two years for professional misconduct.

In June 2019, the State Administrative Tribunal in Western Australia (the tribunal) reprimanded Emson Nyoni, cancelled his registration and disqualified him from applying for registration as a registered health practitioner for two years.

This followed a finding of professional misconduct after the tribunal found that Mr Nyoni had:

  • intentionally possessed, supplied and sold Schedule 8 drugs on 131 occasions between 24 May 2013 and 17 April 2014, despite his authority to do so under the state’s poisons regulations being revoked from 24 May 2013, and
  • intentionally possessed, supplied and sold Schedule 8 drugs on 38 occasions between 26 November 2013 and 17 April 2014, in breach of conditions imposed on his registration by the Pharmacy Board of Australia (the Board) on 26 November 2013 which prohibited him from manufacturing, prescribing, possessing, supplying or selling Schedule 8 drugs.

The Board brought tribunal proceedings against Mr Nyoni in January 2015. This followed Mr Nyoni being convicted of several offences under the Poisons Regulations 1965 (WA) (repealed) for failing to maintain a register of drugs of addiction, failing to keep an inventory of particular drugs of addiction and for failing to keep the safe containing drugs of addiction locked.

As a result of the convictions, the Board imposed conditions on Mr Nyoni’s registration under section 178 of the National Law1. These conditions prohibited him from manufacturing, prescribing, possessing, supplying or selling Schedule 8 drugs.

In its application, the Board alleged that Mr Nyoni breached the conditions on his registration several times, and that he did so despite having his authority to possess, sell or supply Schedule 8 drugs under s23(2) of the Poisons Act 1964 (WA) (repealed) revoked.

When determining an appropriate sanction, the tribunal took into account that Mr Nyoni’s misconduct took place over an extended period of time, that it involved Mr Nyoni being dishonest and that Mr Nyoni demonstrated a complete lack of remorse or insight.

The tribunal said Mr Nyoni’s conduct would reasonably be regarded as ‘disgraceful or dishonourable’ by the pharmacy profession.

The tribunal also noted that it was not confident Mr Nyoni would not engage in similar misconduct in the future, particularly given the fact his misconduct was intentional.

The tribunal commented that despite being notified of the restrictions imposed on him on multiple occasions, and despite taking legal action unsuccessfully to remove the restrictions, he nevertheless persisted in the conduct.

This, the tribunal said, was evidence of a complete lack of regard held by Mr Nyoni in respect of the ‘legislative obligations imposed on him’ and towards the ‘authorities bestowed with the statutory duty of regulating his profession in order to protect members of the public’.

The tribunal noted the conduct only stopped when the pharmacy owned by Mr Nyoni was sold.

The tribunal’s full decision can be read on the website of the State Administrative Tribunal in Western Australia. A decision on costs is still to be made.

1 The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law).

Page reviewed 16/07/2019