From the Inspectors


Amidst the turmoil of bush fires and the COVID pandemic, your Pharmacy Council Inspectors have attempted to emulate the aspirations of the US Postal Service, that is, always getting through.

Apart from a six week period in April/May when your previously “Senior” (venerable) inspectors, became “Elderly” (vulnerable) and subject to “self-isolation”, our services continued unabated – checking the stirring rods and funnels and the required dispensary equipment, all the time attempting to avoid “hot spots” as they arose.

Consequently, some of you may not have been visited as regularly as in previous years.

Strangely enough, some of our pet peeves have not been obliterated by COVID, in particular, the correct name of the proprietor (as shown in the Pharmacy Council’s Register of Pharmacy Premises) being displayed at or near the main entrance to the pharmacy and the name of the Pharmacist-in-Charge displayed at the dispensing area – that name being the exact one on the Ahpra register of the person who is physically in the pharmacy and who is in charge at that time.

Following mention earlier in the year about storage of Schedule 8 medicines and scanning of dispensed medicines, we have noted better compliance in regard to these items in many pharmacies but there are still some where the pharmacists are not storing the S8s correctly at all times. Please remember that methadone and buprenorphine are STILL Schedule 8 medicines and subject to these storage requirements. Also, a further reminder that the Schedule 8 drug safe must be compliant with the specifications detailed in the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods legislation. This mean gun safes and “Bunnings” specials are not compliant. Further, all safes must be appropriately attached to the premises.

We also note that some pharmacists are returning low scanning statistics. There has been plenty of publicity of scanning from a major indemnifier of pharmacists and we would remind you that, in the case of an error in dispensing, you will most likely be required to provide your scanning statistics around the time of the error. It should be noted that a poor scanning rate, compared to other pharmacists, could be deemed to indicate a lack of skill, care and/or knowledge and laxity in any of these could be a trigger for a charge of unsatisfactory professional conduct, which might lead to conditions being placed on the erring pharmacist’s registration.

Complex compounding is still a worry to us in some pharmacies and we urge you not just to read, but be familiar with, and adopt, the contents of the Pharmacy Council’s Compounding Checklist issued in September 2019. Failure to follow the information included in this document could have similar outcomes to those mentioned above.

Now for the good news. We, Max and Grahame, will be back in all our glory in the New Year to continue with our friendly and educational inspections. We look forward to seeing you then.