13 June 2024

Bayfair pharmacy in breach of code for dispensing errors, says HDC

The Health and Disability Commissioner has found Countdown Pharmacy Bayfair, Mount Maunganui in breach of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights.

Commissioner-initiated investigation uncovered several errors involving a number of consumers from 2019-2020 after an initial complaint involved dispensing errors made to three consumers.

Morag McDowell, Health and Disability Commissioner found this busy supermarket pharmacy to have breached the right for consumers to have services provided with reasonable care and skill.

McDowell says, “I consider Countdown Pharmacy Bayfair failed to provide services to multiple consumers with reasonable care and skill and breached the Code.”

McDowell noted concerns about the systems in place at the pharmacy at the time of the dispensing errors. There was a lack of staff oversight and support, staffing levels were inadequate and a lack of monitoring to detect errors resulted in a failure to take timely action.

Bayfair Pharmacy breached code
Bayfair pharmacy breached the code, says HDC

“A pharmacy is required to ensure the provision of services that are safe and appropriate. This includes providing adequate support and oversight to staff to enable them to provide safe and accurate dispensing,” McDowell said.

She also found the pharmacist employed during the complaint period in breach of right 4(1) of the Code, although she acknowledged that systemic and mitigating factors influenced the pharmacist’s practice.

“The pharmacist had a professional responsibility to ensure the services she provided were of an appropriate standard,” McDowell said. “By failing to ensure she performed final checks adequately, and making dispensing errors, the pharmacist failed to provide services to multiple consumers with reasonable care and skill and this breached the Code.”

Health and Disability Commissioner has made a number of recommendations for Countdown Pharmacy Bayfair and the pharmacist, including providing HDC with a report detailing any errors made over the six months prior to the report, including actions taken to prevent similar errors in future.

Affected consumers have already received apologies from the pharmacy.

Also Read: www.newsviews.co.nz/cancer-patient-given-anti-cholesterol-medication-in-error-by-pharmacist/

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