Pharmacist owner challenges Pharmacy Board’s decision in court after error resulted in conditions on registration
A court has given a Western Australian pharmacist owner the green light to practice without conditions, after a dispute over the practice’s recency requirements.
In October 2019, the pharmacist owner requested the renewal of his registration to practice the profession of pharmacist.
In his application, he disclosed that he had not met the Board’s recency requirements in that he had neither completed 150 hours of practice in the previous 12 months, nor had he completed 450 hours of practice in the previous 12 months. hours of practice in the past three years.
Following a request from Ahpra, the pharmacist provided an unsigned and signed CV indicating that he owned and operated his pharmacy from 2006 to May 2016 and that he had “not worked in a pharmacy since May 2016 “.
A few months later, Ahpra notified him of the decision of the Pharmacy Council to grant the renewal of his registration as a pharmacist, subject to conditions.
These conditions required him to complete 152 hours of supervised practice, take an oral exam, and refrain from unsupervised practice until those conditions were met.
According to the information provided, the pharmacist had not been able to demonstrate that he had met the requirements relating to the recency of the practice, argued the Commission.
On the same day, the pharmacist filed an application with the WA State Administrative Court to seek reconsideration of the board’s decision.
He argued that he made a mistake in his CV and stopped practicing as a pharmacist at the pharmacy when it closed in May 2017 – and not in May 2016 as previously reported.
He said he not only worked as a pharmacist for 450 hours in the three years leading up to his renewal application, but actually worked over 800 hours in 2017.
The WA court noted an “absence of … documentary evidence” to support the number of hours the pharmacist claims to have worked at the pharmacy between October 2016 and May 2017.
However, the pharmacist’s partner, whom the court found to be a “credible witness”, testified that he was present at the pharmacy during most of its opening hours from October 1, 2016 to May 2017, seven days a week. Sept. She insisted that the pharmacy closed in early May 2017.
The pharmacist also produced a random sample of nearly 50 prescriptions as proof of his dispensing work during this time, as well as bank statements and pharmacy supplier invoices.
Based on all the evidence, the court estimated that he worked at the pharmacy an average of at least 50 hours per week from October 1, 2016 to May 2, 2017, for a total of approximately 1,750 hours.
“According to our calculations, he worked well beyond 450 hours in the previous three years before the request for renewal of his registration on October 24, 2019,” said the court.
As a result, he found that the disclosures in his application and the statements in his CV were made “in error”.
“We accept [his] proof that when filling out the application form, he relied on his memory without checking any documents.
“At [the pharmacist’s] own admission, it is a person who neglects things, forgets things and does not keep records.
In arguing for the maintenance of the conditions, the Commission argued that the court should take into consideration the length of time between the filing of the 2019 renewal application and the time the pharmacist informed it that he had in fact complied with recent standards of practice, and its failure to keep practice records.
However, the court did not recognize that this was relevant.
He overturned the decision of the Pharmacy Board of Australia and granted the pharmacist’s registration unconditionally.