Message from the President – pharmacist suspensions, compounding FAQs on raw materials and the upcoming Council election

It’s been a busy time for the Pharmacy Council. The last few months have seen a concerning upward trend in serious complaints being raised. These complaints often require the Council’s immediate attention and at times result in the suspension of a pharmacist’s registration to protect the public under Section 150 of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW). In August, the Council held eight Section 150 hearings and in September the number was six – this is more than double the number held in previous months.

The decision to hold a Section 150 hearing is not taken lightly. It has a big impact on a pharmacist and is only instigated when there is a perceived risk to public health and safety. However it is also important to understand the need to uphold professional standards and maintain public confidence in the regulated health professions. Pharmacist practitioners must display a standard of behaviour that warrants the trust and respect of the community. This includes observing and practising the principles of ethical conduct. It is in this area where the public expectation must be considered during Section 150 hearings. To learn more about Section 150 matters and the type of behaviour that can result in a suspension of registration,  read on to our news story Complaints – Section 150 hearings – a short hop to suspension.

In other news, the Council has recently updated the Fact sheet Raw materials used in compounding and released a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to accompany the Fact sheet. The Fact sheet, which was published in May, was developed in response to queries and feedback received by Council. Both resources can be found here.

Finally, the process to elect five local pharmacist members to the Council for the next three year term of office has commenced with the call for nominations  now open. If this of interest to you, learn more about the role and commitment involved in being a Council member here.


Stuart Ludington