Suspension and conditions for pharmacist who misappropriated medications

17 Aug 2021

A South Australian pharmacist has been suspended for a month and has had conditions imposed on his registration after being found to have misappropriated medications for his personal use.

In November or December 2016, Benjamin Ramsey misappropriated two partially full packets of oxycodone tablets from his workplace for his personal use. The packets had been returned to the pharmacy by customers (returned stock). 

In June 2019, Mr Ramsey misappropriated from his workplace four packets of medication for his personal use. This included one packet of diazepam that was full or nearly full and three partially full packets of medication containing the active ingredient oxycodone. These four packets were either returned stock or expired stock of the pharmacy.

Mr Ramsey self-administered the medication, without clinical oversight.

On 15 August 2019, Mr Ramsey consulted a general practitioner, concerning his mental health and disclosed his conduct in general terms.  

Mr Ramsey made a notification about his conduct to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) on 22 August 2019.  His doctor made a mandatory notification on 9 September 2019.

The Pharmacy Board of Australia (the Board) took immediate action after a show cause process in October 2019 and imposed conditions on Mr Ramsey’s registration while they considered the notification. They referred the matter to the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal) in June 2020.

This matter proceeded to a final hearing on 10 March 2021.  Mr Ramsey admitted that his conduct fell substantially below the standard of conduct to be expected of a practitioner of his training and experience. He also acknowledged that it was conduct that was inconsistent with him being (at the time) a fit and proper person to be registered.  

On 7 April 2021, the tribunal found the Mr Ramsey behaved in a way that constituted professional misconduct.

The tribunal:

  • reprimanded Mr Ramsey 
  • suspended Mr Ramsey’s registration until midnight on 30 April 2021 (representing a period of suspension of one month)
  • imposed conditions requiring that Mr Ramsey receive mentoring with a review period of two years, and
  • ordered Mr Ramsey to pay the Board’s costs of the proceedings.

The tribunal’s decision was published on the Austlii website on 7 July 2021.

 
 
Page reviewed 17/08/2021