We receive over 300 complaints against pharmacists every year. Each complaint is assessed by us and the Health Care Complaints Commission. Responses are usually sought from the responsible pharmacist/s and then we consult with the HCCC to determine what, if any, further action is required.

In assessing a complaint we look at the factors that lead to the complaint being made. If the complaint is about a dispensing error, we aim to establish the contributing factors and work with the pharmacist to help them avoid similar errors in the future.

As mentioned in our last newsletter, we find that excessive workloads often contribute to errors being made. If we become aware that a pharmacy appears to have inadequate staffing we will closely examine workloads to ensure medications are being dispensed safely and accurately. If we find unsafe workloads, we deal with the matter as a complaint against the proprietors of the pharmacy.

Outcomes of these complaints vary depending on individual circumstances.  Our primary role is the protection of the public.  Proprietors may be required to attend for counselling, or conditions may be imposed on their registration to ensure public safety is maintained.

If you are concerned about workloads within your pharmacy, you can contact the Pharmacy Support Service for advice. If you wish to make a complaint, visit our website or the Health Care Complaints Commission’s website at