Pharmacy Board of Australia - Career-ending disqualification for pharmacist following criminal conviction
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Career-ending disqualification for pharmacist following criminal conviction

22 Sep 2023

A Perth-based pharmacist has been disqualified from applying from registration for five years following a criminal conviction, effectively ending the 66-year-old’s career in pharmacy.

In July 2021, David Brewster was found guilty of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception relating to false claims he submitted for payments under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for fertility medication. He was sentenced to 22 months in prison with a non-parole period of seven months.

The Pharmacy Board of Australia (the Board) was made aware of Mr Brewster’s criminal conviction on 1 August 2021 and suspended his registration on 19 August 2021 by way of immediate action.

The Board’s Code of conduct requires that, among other obligations, practitioners must always act in accordance with the law and be ethical and trustworthy. Following Mr Brewster’s conviction, the Board referred Mr Brewster to the Western Australia State Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal) on 5 January 2023 for disciplinary action.

On 22 June 2023, the tribunal found Mr Brewster’s behaviour amounted to professional misconduct, reprimanded and disqualified him from applying for registration as a registered health practitioner for five years. He was also ordered him to pay the Board’s costs of $3,000.

Mr Brewster acknowledged his conduct was wrong and was remorseful for his behaviour. He advised that he does not intend to return to the pharmacy profession.

Read the tribunal's full decision online.

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Page reviewed 22/09/2023