Oluyomi Olugbenga Adenaike, registration number 2037153, left either a pharmacy technician or the pharmacy's director in charge of the premises on “at least five occasions”, the General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) fitness-to-practise committee concluded at a hearing on December 14, 2018.
The GPhC noted that Mr Adenaike – who had been a registered pharmacist for 28 years – was likely to have been impacted negatively by his wife leaving his online pharmacy business and that no previous fitness-to-practise findings had been made against him.
However, it stressed that Mr Adenaike – who did not attend the hearing – had “persistently exposed” patients to harm and showed “no evidence of insight, remorse or remediation”.
No responsible pharmacist
Mr Adenaike was the owner and superintendent pharmacist of Asset Chemist in Tilbury, Essex from February 2015 to February 2016, during which time a pharmacy technician was recorded as being the responsible pharmacist on three occasions and the pharmacy's director on two occasions, the GPhC heard.
The GPhC committee found “it was more likely than not that, on the five occasions…there had been no responsible pharmacist in charge of the business”, despite the registrant denying this.
Mr Adenaike had also failed to ensure that the responsible pharmacist notice was visible during an inspection in February 2016, the GPhC heard. The inspector reported that when she asked where the notice was, Mr Adenaike went to “the far corner behind the counter”, where the notice was “partially obscured by bagged-up medication”.
The regulator noted that Mr Adenaike accepted the notice had not been visible, but said it had been on show earlier that day.
“Repeated poor record keeping”
Mr Adenaike had also “failed to make…any adequate record in the responsible pharmacist log”, including not signing out on “at least 13 instances”, and signing out for the previous day when signing in for the current day in “at least nine instances”, the GPhC heard.
The GPhC said: “The committee was concerned by this repeated poor record keeping by the registrant. It persisted over a long period and cannot be said to be the result of occasional error.”
“A gross abrogation of duties”
The inspector also found Mr Adenaike “failed to secure” Oxycontin in the controlled drugs cabinet, when she saw two boxes of 5mg tablets on the side in the dispensary, the GPhC said. The cabinet's keys were left in the lock, she noted.
“He explained he had opened the controlled drugs register to make an entry and had then been distracted by a telephone call from the district nurse,” the GPhC said. “He apologised for this error and said he appreciated safe storage of controlled drugs is necessary for the protection of the public.”
The registrant said he would usually leave the keys with the pharmacy director – who was not a registered pharmacist – which was “wholly unacceptable and a gross abrogation of the responsible pharmacist’s duties”, the GPhC added.
Asset Chemist also dispensed certain drugs to patients in “excessive” quantities, including amoxicillin, alendronic acid and allopurinol, the GPhC noted.
Online pharmacy failures
The GPhC heard that in addition to his role at Asset Chemist, Mr Adenaike was registered manager and director of Essex-based online pharmacy MD Direct from May 2015 to December 2016.
An inspection by healthcare regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – prompted by an article in the Independent newspaper – in December 2016, revealed that Mr Adenaike had “failed, adequately or at all, to ensure the services [he] provided to patients were safe”, the GPhC said.
The website did not adequately “confirm a patient’s medical history before a prescription was issued”, “verify a patient’s identity, including age”, or “receive and/or manage medical patient safety alerts”, the GPhC said.
Staff “working outside competence”
MD Direct processed its orders with “one or more non-clinical staff…working outside of the scope of their competence”, the GPhC heard. Administrative staff would “refuse an order before it got to the doctor”, with “no policy or process to provide guidance on how these decisions would be made”.
Staff did not have “an adequate understanding” of how to seek a patient’s consent to care and treatment, or how to assess a patient’s capacity to make a decision, the GPhC heard.
“Persistently exposed to risk of harm”
The GPhC acknowledged that the registrant had “made some admissions” to areas of concern raised during the investigation, such as not signing in and out as the responsible pharmacist and the controlled drug errors.
However, it concluded that Mr Adenaike’s “misconduct concerned aspects of…skills, knowledge, character and behaviour”, which “persisted over a long period of time and permeated across many aspects of service provision”.
It stressed that “patients were persistently exposed to the risk of harm”, and ruled to strike him from the register.
Read the full determination here.