Today’s health practitioner graduates do not know a world without social media – it’s part of their DNA and it is here to stay. Social media platforms span our personal and professional lives and can play an important role in public health education and the marketing of health services. While regulated health service providers and […]
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Owing prescriptions – are you courting danger?
Most pharmacists will have been asked to dispense prescription-only medicines to patients who do not have a valid prescription. Although Pharmacy Dispensing Software (PDS) allows for the processing and supply of medicines without a valid prescription, thereby creating an ‘owing’, there is no legislation that provides for this. Pharmacists assisting their patients should familiarise themselves […]
You have received a notification – what now?
The practice of pharmacy is highly regulated and modern society is becoming increasingly litigious. With that in mind, pharmacists should anticipate that they may be contacted by a statutory authority or investigator at some stage during their careers. In 2017-18, 1.9% of pharmacists in Australia were the subject of notification to AHPRA. Common statutory authorities […]
Ask for help, and ask early – advice for surviving an AHPRA notification
Meridian Lawyers regularly assists health practitioners who have been the subject of notification to statutory health authorities such as AHPRA, HCCC and the OHO. Our role is to help these practitioners understand, respond to and navigate the complaints process. Unfortunately, we regularly hear clients express distress that they are the subject of complaint. Many suffer […]
Case Note: Bergin v Queensland Cork & Timber Solutions Pty Ltd  QDC 141
A cautionary tale: The risks of failing to test a witness’ evidence before trial, and the benefits of requesting a plaintiff commit to a version of events at the outset of a claim Bergin v Queensland Cork & Timber Solutions Pty Ltd  QDC 141 is a decision recently delivered by Her Honour Judge Vicki […]
Steroids and hormone therapies – Off label use or misuse/abuse?
Pharmacists are expected to have a contemporary knowledge of the drugs that are subject to abuse or misuse, both generally and in their own localities. Steroids and hormone therapies are one of many groups of medications that are the subject of abuse/misuse. Many individuals source anabolic steroids illicitly from coaches, friends, teammates, gym employees, relatives […]
How can you tell if you have been given a forged prescription and what to do if you have
Pharmacists are expected to take reasonable steps to satisfy themselves that a prescription has been issued by an authorised prescriber. Prescriptions for Schedule 4 and Schedule 8 medicines subject to abuse, such as such benzodiazepines and opioids, are most likely to be forged. However pharmacists should also consider other medications such as anabolic steroids which […]
What are pharmacists’ obligations when supplying pseudoephedrine?
Pseudoephedrine (‘PSE’) is indicated for the relief of congestion associated with conditions such as rhinitis, sinusitis and the common cold. However, in recent decades, it has been targeted for non-therapeutic purposes, such as for the manufacture of illicit drugs. Meridian Lawyers has recently assisted pharmacists to respond to notifications that were referred to the Australian […]
Medication Misadventure – Methotrexate: A reminder to pharmacists to exercise independent judgment about the safety of a prescribed medicine.
This article was originally published as a PDL Practice Alert. It was written by Scott Ames, Principal and PDL Professional Officers, John Guy and Gary West. A recent inquest into the death of an elderly patient in Victoria  has put a spotlight on a pharmacist’s duty to exercise independent judgement when dispensing medication. Background On 29 […]
Changes to Medicare Benefits Schedule Items for Spinal X-Ray Services – Why, how and what now?
On 1 November 2017 changes took effect that impact on rights of chiropractors practitioners to request spinal x-rays. The Medicare Taskforce With the view to improving health outcomes for patients, the Commonwealth Government established the Medicare Taskforce (Taskforce) in April 2015 to consider how more than 5,700 items on the Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS) aligned […]
Vets must be vigilant to avoid legal action
An increasingly litigious society and ever-greater humanisation of pets means vets must be vigilant to avoid legal action. This article was written by Chris Sheedy and republished with permission from Vet Practice Magazine, June 2017. Whether a vet’s patient is a million-dollar racehorse, a $250,000 stud bull, a $100,000 exotic bird or a $25 pet dog, […]