Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency - Pharmacist suspended for improper dispensing of schedule 4 medications
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Pharmacist suspended for improper dispensing of schedule 4 medications

08 Dec 2021

A tribunal has suspended a pharmacist for six months following findings of professional misconduct.

In October, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal) found Ms Huyen Tran’s conduct in relation to three allegations was substantially below expected standards for any pharmacist and conduct that was inconsistent with her being fit and proper to hold registration.

The Pharmacy Board of Australia (the Board) referred the practitioner to the tribunal after she pleaded guilty and was convicted of charges under the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 (Vic) and Regulations.  The charges related to the supply of Schedule 4 poisons, namely codeine-containing analgesics and diazepam, to one patient over a three and half year period.  It was found Ms Tran had reason to believe prescriptions were fraudulent and failed to notify the Department of Health and Human Services of requests to dispense in quantities or more frequently than appeared reasonably necessary.

Ms Tran’s registration was suspended by immediate action in March 2019 while the criminal matters proceeded. The Board referred Ms Tran to the tribunal for disciplinary action in June 2020. She remained suspended until the tribunal’s outcome.

On 25 October 2021, the tribunal decided to:

  • reprimand the practitioner
  • suspend the practitioner’s registration for an additional six months (taking her total time out of practice to approximately three years), and 
  • impose practice audit and mentoring conditions upon her return to practice.

In making its decision, the tribunal noted the practitioner had at all times cooperated with the criminal and Ahpra investigation, had demonstrated significant remorse and insight and undertook extensive re-education during her period of suspension.  

The tribunal’s decision was published on the Austlii website on 25 October 2021.

Page reviewed 8/12/2021