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Pharmacist given warning for incorrectly dispensing ‘abortive agent’

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A Dublin pharmacist who incorrectly dispensed medication that can terminate a pregnancy to a pregnant woman has been given a warning by the The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) and has agreed not to repeat the conduct.

Donal O’Donovan, who worked as a locum pharmacist at Corrigan’s pharmacy, Malahide road in Clontarf, Dublin 3, was the subject of a fitness-to-practice hearing on Thursday and Friday.

The statutory inquiry heard that the woman, referred to as Patient A, attended Corrigan’s pharmacy on June 10th, 2018, to have a prescription for aspirin and cyclogest, a progesterone medication, dispensed.

The patient (34) had discovered she was pregnant, following multiple miscarriages, and was advised by her consultant to take the medication to minimise the risk of another.

However, Mr O’Donovan said he misread the prescription and instead dispensed cytotec, which is used to treat stomach ulcers, and can be used off-licence as an abortive agent.

Patient A took the drug for two days before she discovered a warning which stated that those taking the medication should not operate heavy machinery.

She returned to the pharmacy to question if she had received the correct medication and the supervising pharmacist, Eamon Fitzgerald, who had not been at work when it was given to her, confirmed that the wrong medication had been dispensed.

He advised Patient A to attend the emergency department.

In her statement, read out by Hugh McDowell, the counsel for the registrar, patient A said: “I was devastated. It was awful. I was of the view that if I continued to take it . . . I would have lost the baby.”

After attending the Rotunda hospital, and multiple check ups, Patient A subsequently gave birth to a healthy baby.

Mr O’Donovan faced three allegations: the supply of medication otherwise than in accordance with the prescription and in a manner that was not clinically appropriate; a failure to counsel the patient; and a failure to adequately review the prescription.

Mr O’Donovan accepted the facts of the case and did not contest the “seriousness” of the allegations.

In his statement on Thursday, Mr O’Donovan said he was “devastated” by the error, that he regretted it and was sorry.

“This is a dispensing error by me. I am extremely disappointed in myself. I regret this error and I’m sorry,” he said.

His counsel, Helen Callanan SC, said her client “respectfully” asked the committee to consider dealing with the matter by way of undertaking.

The hearing continued on Friday, when the committee agreed to deal with the matter by way of undertaking and said it was “the most lenient” they could be given the allegations.

Under Sections 46(1) A and 46 (1) D of the pharmacy act of 2007, Mr O’Donovan agreed to not repeat the conduct to which the complaint related and consented to be admonished by the committee.

An admonishment is a sanction. It is the lowest sanction which can be applied and does not restrict the right of a registrant to practice.

His counsel asked for the requirement to be admonished to be revisited, noting that it seemed “possibly disproportionate”.

The committee considered the application to avoid section 46(1) D for Mr O’Donovan to be admonished but was persuaded that it should not do so in Mr O’Donovan’s case.

Mr O’Donovan gave the undertakings to the committee and consented to the admonishment. He read a sworn statement agreeing not to repeat the conduct that was subject to the complaint again.

Mark Kane, chairman of the inquiry said Mr O’Donovan was “effectively discharged” and said the committee accepted the undertakings and consents.

The committee will be writing a shorter report in respect to this matter, Mr Kane said.

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Hines invests in industrial portfolio in Northern Italy

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Hines has reached a binding agreement for an off-market investment to acquire 20 logistics assets located between Emilia Romagna and Lombardy through the Italian fund HEVF II Italy managed by Prelios SGR on behalf of the Hines European Value Fund 2 (HEVF 2). The transaction involves the acquisition of the real estate portfolio from four different selling companies and the simultaneous 15-year lease of the same portfolio to Snatt Logistica Group, a leader in the third-party logistics (3PL) sector focusing exclusively on the fashion industry. The portfolio of 20 logistics assets provides a total of 200,000m² of logistics space around Milan, Parma, Reggio Emilia, and Bologna. They are strategic, well-established logistic centres that enjoy effective, rapid connections with Italy’s main cities and the rest of Europe.

 

“We are pleased to start 2022 with an important investment in the logistics sector that consolidates our presence in the main intersections in Northern Italy. At Hines, we believe in the potential of the logistics sector in Italy and have set an investment target of around €1bn in 2022,” commented Mario Abbadessa, senior managing director & country head of Hines Italy. “We are proud to collaborate with Snatt Logistica Group, which is an international 3PL logistics leader in the luxury fashion industry, and we are certain that we will be able to develop a shared path for growth, guided by common values, including ESG, which is key to our DNA.”

 

Paul White, senior managing director and fund manager for HEVF 2 at Hines, said: “This is an attractive portfolio of assets with a strong, innovative tenant at the forefront of Italy’s fast-growing third-party logistics sector for the fashion industry. We believe that e-commerce will continue to drive long-term demand for high-quality logistics facilities in Italy’s northern cities, pushing the value of these investments forwards, while there is also a significant opportunity to enhance the sustainability performance of existing assets here. This is aligned with our ESG objectives as recognised by GRESB, with HEVF 2 achieving the award of Overall Global Sector Leader in the Diversified Office/Retail category for sustainability performance in 2021.”

 

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Latest Coveney gaffe shows new knack of ‘making small problems big’

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“Don’t mind your press releases,” a Fine Gael source was told by a more experienced hand on their first day in Leinster House; “If you want something out there, just say it in the PP [parliamentary party meeting].”

It’s a truism of Irish politics that these meetings – especially those of the two larger Government parties – leak like the proverbial sieve. This got worse during Covid, when virtual meetings meant members were unencumbered by the need to even appear interested, and journalists were freely briefed in real time. The content of the meeting, coupled with the observations of parliamentarians – arch, knowing, and unfiltered – populated twitter streams and news copy.

So, when Simon Coveney’s remarks about his surprise at the meeting between the Russian ambassador to Ireland and the head of the defence forces were promptly headline news, it can’t have been too much of a shock. “He knows he’s speaking at the leakiest meeting in Leinster House,” observed a source present.

Still, some in the room thought when Michael Creed raised the issue, Coveney would just “warble on like you normally do”. Instead, after a gap of several minutes while other questions were fielded, the Minister for Defence bit down. He said he was “surprised to put it mildly”, several sources present said, and questioned the judgement of it.

Afterwards, sources close to Coveney quickly asserted the Minister meant the tweet from the Russians, and the accompanying picture, were the issue, not the meeting. But multiple sources at the parliamentary party interpreted it as referring to the meeting, and what’s more, as a direct rebuke to the chief of staff. “The tone I got was he was f***ing livid,” said one source.

Either way, the remark was leaked, it was controversial, and early the next morning, Coveney was mending fences in the Dáil, expressing confidence in Clancy and contrition for having brought him into the line of political fire.

A kind interpretation, offered by some at the meeting, is that he feels honour-bound to respond fully to questions from parliamentary colleagues. There is likely truth to that. But equally, many believe he would have known his comments would have been controversial, open to interpretation as a rebuke to the head of the Defence Forces, and that it was meant as a shot across the bows.

Others postulate that – perhaps more worryingly – he didn’t detect the political risk inherent in the remarks, which the Opposition would say had undermined the Chief of Staff . “Simon should have known this was going to result in public comment,” said another person there.

That, in truth is the bigger concern – that Coveney’s bad run of form is down to a blunted political dexterity. “You’d know by the way he said it he wasn’t trying to cause controversy,” one colleague said – adding that it was, however, evidence of Coveney’s new knack of “making small problems into big ones”.

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Greenman OPEN acquires German retail portfolio for €90m

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Greenman OPEN has acquired three retail parks for a combined value of circa €90m. The newly purchased portfolio includes a retail centre in Sonneberg, Rastal Centre in Hohr-Grenzhausen, and a new supermarket located in Markneukirchen.

 

The retail centre in Sonneberg comprises 33,145m² of lettable space and is one of the largest assets in the fund portfolio. It is fully occupied and anchored by EDEKA Marktkauf. Deriving 84% of its income from “essential” retailers, of which 60% is from grocery retailers, the centre will generate consistent income over its long nine-year WARLT.

 

The new turnkey Rastal Centre in Hohr-Grenzhausen offers 13,793m²,  and is anchored by Lidl and Aldi. The high weighted average remaining lease term (WARLT) of the centre, 12.5 years, will ensure income generation for the fund for the long term.

 

The brand-new supermarket in Markneukirchen is also let to EDEKA on a new 15-year lease term and forms part of the developer framework agreement signed with Schroder.

 

In line with OPEN’s ESG strategy to be carbon neutral by 2040, all newly acquired centres fit into the fund’s ESG framework. In Sonneberg, the centre operates at a reduced energy consumption rate compared to the average for a property of its size and usage. Simultaneously, it is compatible with OPEN’s plans to implement PV solar panels for renewable energy generation. The brand-new development in Hohr-Grenzhausen will be built to a minimum silver DGNB standard.

 

Commenting on OPEN’s acquisitions and growth milestone, James McEvoy, Head of Acquisitions for Greenman, said: “Reaching €1bn of AUM is a significant milestone for the OPEN fund and underlines our sector expertise. As we grow further, we’re paying particular attention to ensuring that all OPEN’s assets are fit for the future shape of the grocery retail sector, incorporating ESG criteria, new technology and innovation to improve how physical assets support the grocery retail model of the future. Having surpassed our €1bn AUM target in 2021, we will continue to use our market-leading expertise in the German food retail sector to source the best opportunities for investors. We have a locked-in pipeline of assets in place to grow the fund further this year and are targeting to achieve €3bn AUM by 2027.”

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