A Salmon Arm pharmacist agreed to a $25,000 and a one-year suspension following an investigation by a College of Pharmacists of B.C. Inquiry Committee. The committee considered allegations that a former Shuswap Lake General Hospital pharmacist had colluded with a local pharmacy owner in the sale of misappropriated medications. (File photo)

A Salmon Arm pharmacist agreed to a $25,000 and a one-year suspension following an investigation by a College of Pharmacists of B.C. Inquiry Committee. The committee considered allegations that a former Shuswap Lake General Hospital pharmacist had colluded with a local pharmacy owner in the sale of misappropriated medications. (File photo)

Salmon Arm pharmacist fined, suspended for involvement in drug sales scheme

Pharmacy owner agrees to $25,000 fine, complete ethics course for health-care professionals

A Salmon Arm pharmacist who Interior Health alleged was part of a conspiracy involving the sale of misappropriated medications was fined $25,000 and suspended for one year.

Following an investigation, a College of Pharmacists of B.C. inquiry committee determined that between 2011 and 2018, Laurent Roy, owner of Remedy’s RX in Salmon Arm, had purchased pharmacy supplies from a hospital employee who allegedly diverted those supplies from hospital inventory. In its Aug. 24 decision, the committee noted evidence suggested Roy was aware the supplies had been diverted, and that some of the cash he’d paid for the supplies had been diverted from hospital accounts.

In its written decision, the committee stated Roy had repeatedly made purchases from the hospital employee over a prolonged period, and was likely aware of the nature of the supplies he was purchasing.

The committee determined Roy’s “decision to continue making purchases was likely based on financial gain, and this indicated a pattern of poor judgment.”

“His actions were a serious contravention of standards in the Code of Ethics and compromised the public’s trust in the pharmacy profession,” stated the committee in its decision, noting serious remediation was required to protect the public and “send a clear message of deterrence to the profession.”

Roy entered into a consent agreement with the committee that included the following terms:

• Pay a fine of $25,000;

• Suspend his registration as a pharmacist for a total of 365 days, from Aug. 24, 2020 to Aug. 24, 2021;

• To not be pharmacy manager, director or officer of a pharmacy for a period of three years from Aug. 25, 2021 to Aug. 24, 2024.

Read more: Interior Health suing former Shuswap hospital employee, pharmacist for alleged drug sales scheme

Read more: Online booking of lab appointments launched in Salmon Arm

Read more: Flu clinics a go but no drop-ins: Interior Health

Roy was also required to complete and pass an ethics course for health-care professionals, and a College of Pharmacists of B.C. jurisprudence exam, and would have a letter of reprimand placed on his registration with the college indefinitely.

The allegations against Roy were included in a civil claim filed by Interior Health with the B.C. Supreme Court in Salmon Arm on June 19, 2020. In the claim, the health authority alleged that between 2004 and 2018, Ian Petterson, a former pharmacist at Shuswap Lake General Hospital, had conspired in unlawful conduct with Roy.

In the notice of claim, IH stated between 1994 and 2018, Petterson was employed by the health authority as a staff pharmacist, responsible for the ordering and dispensing of medication, as well as receiving inventory, pricing and storing medications and other products at the pharmacy. In 2016, Petterson was promoted to manager of pharmacy services.

IH claimed that around December, 2004, Petterson began “wrongfully manipulating” pharmacy transactions for medication sales to Remedy’s. IH alleged Petterson removed medication from the pharmacy inventory without invoicing it, and then sold it to Remedy’s for cash which he kept.

IH also claimed Petterson was manipulating transactions in the pharmacy record system, disposed of invoices from Remedy’s and personally delivered medication to Remedy’s and Roy. This continued after Jan. 29, 2012, when the B.C. Provincial Health Services Authority notified pharmacies that Interior Health would no longer supply medication to businesses unless for emergency need.

IH alleged Roy communicated with Petterson directly to order pharmacy medication, paid Petterson in cash for medication sold at below market prices and manipulated Remedy’s inventory system to conceal medications purchased from Petterson.

IH stated an internal investigation leading to Petterson’s termination in October 2018 was initiated in September of that year after an employee at Remedy’s reported seeing a bag of cash labeled “SLGH $500,” which Roy had told another employee would be picked up by Petterson.

None of the allegations by Interior Health in the notice of claim have been proven in court.

Interior Health was seeking compensation for loss of revenue and damages from Petterson and Roy.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Salmon Arm

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 65 new cases of COVID-19

Province-wide, there are 887 new cases of the virus

The current state of the Royal Hotel. (Photo Contributed by Richard Leeks)
‘No one is willing to step up to take any responsibility’: Royal owners plow on with renovictions

Heat, kitchen appliances, doors, running water and WiFi have been allegedly removed

RDEK reminds public to register for their emergency notification system. File photo.
RDEK reminds residents to register for East Kootenay Evacuation Notification System

Provincial Alert system cannot be used for local emergencies

City of Fernie city hall. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
City of Fernie: New orders a challenge, but community is supportive

Mayor Qualizza said that the new public health orders were an opportunity to safeguard the winter season

Sparwood mayor David Wilks was in attendance at the street party to discuss potential changes to Centennial Square.
Wilks reflects on new public health orders

Sparwood Mayor Wilks said that it was important to work towards a normal Christmas in 2020

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

The corporate headquarters of Pfizer Canada are seen in Montreal, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The chief medical adviser at Health Canada says Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could be approved in Canada next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Health Canada expects first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved next month

Canada has a purchase deal to buy at least 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine,

FILE – A paramedic holds a test tube containing a blood sample during an antibody testing program at the Hollymore Ambulance Hub, in Birmingham, England, on Friday, June 5, 2020. (Simon Dawson/Pool via AP)
Want to know if you’ve had COVID-19? LifeLabs is offering an antibody test

Test costs $75 and is available in B.C. and Ontario

The grey region of this chart shows the growth of untraced infection, due to lack of information on potential sources. With added staff and reorganization, the gap is stabilized, Dr. Bonnie Henry says. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 tracing to keep up with surging cases

People now notified of test results by text message

Most Read