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

Traffic controllers Hayley Stevens (left) and Hector Blackwater (right) have been recognized by drivers for their friendly waves, smiles and dance moves while working south of Terrace. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)
Skeena Voices | Positivity is just part of being a flagger

Hector Blackwater and Hayley Stevens have been drawing attention on social media

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross has been named critic for Environment and Climate Change Strategy for the BC Liberals. (Peter Versteege photo)
Skeena MLA Ellis Ross named critic for Environment and Climate Change Strategy

Previously, Ross was the critic for LNG, Resource Opportunities, and Responsible Development

Coast Mountains School District 82 is dealing with a shortage of bus drivers. (Natalia Balcerzak/Terrace Standard)
CMSD82 coping with bus driver shortage in Terrace area

LNG Project, COVID-19 contributing to driver shortage

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

Paramedics register patients at a drive through, pop-up COVID-19 test centre outside the Canadian Tire Centre, home of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, in Ottawa, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians aren’t currently worried that people in other countries might get a COVID-19 vaccine first. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Canadians not worried other countries will get COVID-19 vaccine first: poll

Forty-one per cent of respondents say they want the vaccine to be mandatory for all Canadians

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Co-author of residential schools book condemns controversial Abbotsford class assignment

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

Most Read