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

Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming moves to the role of transportation minister in the NDP’s new cabinet. (B.C. government file photo)
Greater Victoria MLAs claim key roles in new cabinet

Transportation, Indigenous relations, children and family development ministries headed by locals

Victoria police are warning people after two Victoria residents fell victim to financial scams on Nov. 18 and 19. (Black Press Media File photo)
VicPD issues warning after two Victoria residents scammed $3,500

In both cases, the fraudsters were posing as financial services employees

Peninsula Panthers' owner and general manager Pete Zubersky questions the decision-making process leading to the suspension of play in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL). (Black Press Media File)
Peninsula Panthers’ owner questions process behind suspension of Junior B hockey action

Pete Zubersky does not understand actions of provincial body administering amateur sports

The old home at 785 Island Rd. is coming down as the developer was unable to find a feasible business case to save it. (Black Press Media File Photo)
With no takers to move old Oak Bay home, teardown begins

‘We tried a last hurrah,’ developer says

Penny Hart is emotional outside the Saanich Police Department as she pleads for helpt to find her son Sean Hart last seen Nov. 6 at a health institution in Saanich. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: Mother of missing Saanich man begs public to help find her son

Sean Hart last seen leaving Saanich mental health facility Nov. 6

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Haven Daley)
POLL: Do you think the current COVID-19 restrictions should continue beyond Dec. 7?

One week into the new restrictions to curtail the spread of the… Continue reading

Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue will be lit up until January 15. (Cole Schisler photo)
Light Up parade a no-go, but Ladysmith’s streets are still all algow

Although the tradition Light Up this year was cancelled, folks can still enjoy the holiday lights

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.
Abbotsford mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby comes home

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

Gracie couldn’t stop nursing from her previous owner’s goats which was problematic given the goats were trying to be dried out to breed. Gracie now lives at A Home for Hooves. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Cowichan animal sanctuary gets international accreditation

A Home for Hooves farm sanctuary accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney has spoken out about some veterans losing their Dimished Earning Capacity income. (Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror photo)
Blaney pens letter to minister about veteran supports

Concerned about veterans losing some income

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,

Most Read