Dangerous script inspires #metoo-style campaign for pharmacists

Steve Flavel says many are scared to question local GPs
Steve Flavel

A pharmacist was so shocked by a script for 500 Valium and 1200 codeine tablets that he has launched a #metoo-style campaign against irresponsible prescribing.

Steve Flavel (pictured) says he has seen many dangerous scripts, but this one “took the cake”.

He says many pharmacists are worried about upsetting local GPs, but a united front on social media will protect individuals from a backlash.

In addition to 10 times the recommended maximum quantity of Valium, the script included 200 Mersyndol Forte tablets with five repeats.

The patient had visited Mr Flavel only for a third item on the script, Curam Duo Forte.

But worried about the patient’s safety, the Queensland pharmacist called the GP to ask if the Mersyndol and Valium quantities were a mistake.

“He said it was not a typo and the prescription was for a favoured patient of many years and to let the prescription go through.

“It was thoroughly irresponsible. Because it’s a non-PBS prescription, it’s not automatically flagged.”

script for 500 Valium

Mr Flavel dispensed only a third item on the script, an antibiotic. He posted the de-identified script on his Pharmacy Owners of Australia Facebook page, asking for others to send in similar scripts.

But a number of pharmacists contacted him to say they feared speaking out about potentially fatal scripts.

With pharmacy profitability reliant on a good relationship with GPs, pharmacists fear doctors may steer patients away from their pharmacy if they speak up.