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Compounder banned over eye-drop bungle

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Compounder banned over eye-drop bungle

A compounding pharmacist has been banned from preparing pharmaceuticals after he substituted an eye-drop ingredient without checking it was safe.

Nicolas Bova, from Bova Compounding Chemist in Caringbah, NSW, used Dextran T(500) Sulphate instead of  Dextran T(500), the NSW Civil and Administrative Appeal Tribunal heard.

Ophthalmologist Dr James McAlister ordered 10 bottles of the eye drops in December 2011.

Six patients later sued the doctor and Mr Bova after they were left partially blind following eye procedures, but this was not addressed by the tribunal.

Mr Bova, who was found guilty of professional misconduct and unsatisfactory professional conduct, additionally dispensed all 10 bottles of the drops to one patient, when they were for use by multiple patients.

Mr Bova admitted to other numerous, unrelated complaints including:

  • Supplying testosterone despite prescriptions being older than six months;
  • Dispensing oxytocin without a prescription. Mr Bova explained the script was in the mail but never arrived because the doctor was no longer in practice; and
  • Failing to use a separate page in the drug register for each form or strength of a drug of addiction.

The tribunal banned Mr Bova from personally compounding any pharmaceutical products for human use

And he can’t allow compounding of any form of codeine, dexamphetamine, testosterone, ketamine or oxytocin in his pharmacy or “any other pharmacy in which he has majority ownership”.

The ban applies to veterinary as well as human use.

The tribunal ordered Mr Bova undertake a rigorous CPD program for the next three years.

But the tribunal recognised he had taken “very significant steps to remedy deficiencies in his practice” and that the offences had occurred more than five years ago.

Mr Bova told an initial tribunal that if he needed to make a substitution in the future he would ensure it was fully documented and communicated to the doctor in writing.

He had already stopped compounding schedule 8 drugs “because his pharmacists were dealing with a lot of issues, there were multiple areas for error and he wanted to limit those”, according to the tribunal decision document.


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