Junee pharmacist license suspended after conviction

Junee residents may soon be able to get their medications from only one pharmacy after the sole Junee Discount Pharmacy was found guilty of a professional practice violation. Photo: Tempura.

Junee residents may soon be left with one pharmacy able to dispense medications as the license of Junee Discount Pharmacy’s sole pharmacist has been suspended.

Chemist Michael Ezzat Helal Azzer will be banned from distributing drugs for three months from July 5 after being found guilty of four counts of unsatisfactory professional conduct and one count of professional misconduct.

While working at Christopher Discount Chemist Kogarah in Sydney’s south between 2017 and 2018, Mr Azzer was the subject of several complaints which concerned the over-distribution of prescription drugs to several patients.

The Health Care Complaints Tribunal (HCCC) overseeing the case found that in several cases Mr Azzer had dispensed excessive amounts of Schedule 8 and Schedule 4D drugs which they believed could have caused “death or serious harm if actually consumed”.

In one case, it was alleged that on the same day in 2018, Mr Azzer simultaneously dispensed two supplies of alprazolam and two supplies of diazepam to a patient.

Both drugs are benzodiazepine sedatives used to treat conditions such as anxiety disorders and insomnia.

The HCCC found that Mr Azzer:

  • Inappropriate and excessive dispensing of Schedule 8 and 4D drugs.
  • At the same time, benzodiazepines from two different prescriptions were dispensed to the same patient.
  • Improperly dosed psychostimulants.
  • Schedule 8 medicines incorrectly dispensed if the prescription was inconsistent with the regulations.
  • Incorrectly dispensed Schedule 4D drugs for which the prescription does not specify a delivery time.

Mr. Azzer’s license suspension was suspended for 30 days to allow him to find another pharmacy to work at Junee Discount Pharmacy for the duration of his three-month suspension.

A full list of complaints can be found in the Health Care Complaints Commission report, available here.