Charge Detail Summary

File Number: Phar18/425P
Practitioner: Simon Cooper
Hearing Start Date:

Hearing End Date:

Hearing Town/City:
Hearing Location:
Charge Characteristics:

Drugs/medication - inappropriate storage

On its own not warranting disciplinary sanction.


Behaviour inappropriate

Theft and/or Burglary


(Not Established)

Drugs - packaging/labelling inappropriate

On its own not warranting disciplinary sanction.


Drugs - dispensing inadequate/inappropriate

Additional Orders:

Name Suppression to Practitioner

Practitioner granted interim name suppression


Name Suppression to Complainant and/or Patient and/or client

Permanent name suppression of patients named in documents relevant to Charge.


Appeal Order:


Full Decision 1022Phar18425P.pdf

Appeal Decision:

Precis of Decision:


At a hearing held 11 – 14 March 2019 the Health Practitioner’s Disciplinary Tribunal considered a charge laid by the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) against Mr Simon Cooper (the pharmacist), of Hamilton. 

The charge alleged that:

  1.   The pharmacist left a methadone stock bottle and/or patient doses on the dispensary counter overnight;
  2.   following the theft of the methadone the pharmacist failed or refused to comply with a request to
      complete a report;
  3.   the pharmacist left the pharmacy unattended by a pharmacist on a number of occasions;
  4.   during these absences the pharmacist asked colleagues to lie to their employer and/or patients as to his
  5.   the pharmacist failed to observe incorrect instructions had been included on a label and failed to check the   
  6.   having been advised of the labelling error the pharmacist failed or refused to complete an incident report as   requested;
  7.   (a)  the pharmacist incorrectly prepared and dispensed certain tablets and /or failed to sign the
            prescription to indicate they had been checked;
  8. at various times the pharmacist took money from the Pharmacy till or cash pot for his own use and without authorisation of his employer.  

The charge was fully defended by the pharmacist.



Particulars 1 and 5 were each found to be misconduct. Separately they did not warrant disciplinary sanction.  Leaving methadone on the counter overnight was a mistake and the error of failing to observe that incorrect instructions had been included on label was a one-off incident.  When considering both particulars together, the Tribunal found disciplinary sanction was warranted.

Particulars 2, 6 and 8 were not established.  When considering Particular 8, taking money from the till, the Tribunal noted that senior personnel were aware from time to time of the pharmacist having done this and the Tribunal was prepared to conclude that their acquiescence could be taken by the pharmacist as authorisation from his employer. 

Particulars 3, 4 and 7(a) were established and when considered both separately and together, warranted disciplinary sanction. 



The pharmacist was censured and conditions were imposed on his practice.  The pharmacist was ordered to pay a total of $35,400 as a contribution to the costs of the PCC and the Tribunal.


The Tribunal directed publication of its decision and a summary.