The Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal has censured and struck-off a pharmacist after he stole medicine, and carried out pharmacist work without a practicing certificate.

The pharmacist moved back to New Zealand from Australia after he was discovered to have stolen a large quantity of medicine from his employer. He voluntarily gave up his registration in Australia.

When he returned to New Zealand, the Pharmacy Council reminded him that he did not have a practicing certificate, and so could not carry out the work of a pharmacist.

Regardless, the pharmacist took up work as a technician for several days in a temporary role. In addition to carrying out restricted work the pharmacist stole more medicine.

The pharmacist’s actions were caught on camera and he was prosecuted.

The Tribunal held that the pharmacist’s actions amounted to professional misconduct. It explained that no penalty short of deregistration would be appropriate in the circumstances.

The Tribunal censured the pharmacist and ordered that his name be struck off the register. Additionally, he was ordered to pay costs of $8,000.

Pharmacists are expected to maintain high standards of ethics and honesty in their work, particularly as they regularly have access to restricted medicines. Failure to adhere to these standards may result in serious disciplinary consequences, and potentially end a pharmacist’s career.

If there are concerns that a pharmacist has breached their professional responsibilities, it is wise to speak with a professional in the area.

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