To all you pharmacists out there in the wide world of pharmacy, please be advised that routine inspections of Council registered pharmacies carried out by the inspectors of the Pharmacy Council of New South Wales, now include,

  • Checking of appropriate storage of Schedule 8 drugs
  • Collection of scanning statistics  

Schedule 8 storage

Frequently during the course of our inspections of pharmacies we (the inspectors) see examples of inappropriate storage of Schedule 8 substances, such as;

  1. Drug safe keys being left in a drawer, on a hook, in a tin or jar
  2. Drug safe keys being left in the lock of the safe or cabinet
  3. Drug safes or cabinets being left open when not in immediate use
  4. Schedule 8 substances (and remember methadone and buprenorphine are Schedule 8 substances) stored in cupboards or drawers
  5. Unusable (returned and out of date) Schedule 8 substances stored in cupboards or drawers
  6. Unusable Schedule 8 substances, in the possession of the pharmacy, that are not entered into a drug register

If you are unsure of any issue in relation to the handling and storage of Schedule 8 drugs, in the first instance call, Pharmaceutical Regulatory Unit of the Ministry of Health on (02) 9391 9944.

Scanning statistics

Be reminded, every dispensing station in your pharmacy must have a working scanner attached and should be used for all dispensing.

It is planned that the inspectors will be requesting the pharmacy dispensing statistics at the time of the pharmacy’s routine inspection.

As for the scanning statistics, firstly if you don’t know how to acquire the scanning statistics from your dispensing software contact your provider. You should be able to detail statistics for individual dispensers.