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

Old English design elements can be seen in the sign of the Summerland Farm and Garden Centre in 1993. The guidelines are no longer in place, but some downtown businesses still show aspects of the days when Summerland had a theme in place. This photo was taken by Summerland photographer Dan Dorotich. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Summerland’s Old English theme has been abandoned

From the 1980s until the early 2000s, Summerland had design guidelines in its downtown

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Residents of Rural Keremeos, Olalla and Hedley are being asked to give feedback for the first Official Community Plan for the area. (Brennan Phillips - Keremeos Review)
Survey on RDOS Area G OCP open until April 30

The area’s first Official Community Plan is in the early stages of development

Nominally 'flushable' wipes caused one of Keremeos lift stations to shut down, damaging the pump inside. The Village is asking residents not to flush anything that isn't human waste. (Black Press)
Keremeos reminds residents not to flush wipes after pump damaged

‘Flushable’ wipes caused the pump to seize up and burn out

Black Crow Cannabis is just one of Vernon's many pot shops now open in town. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kelowna has highest cannabis fees in Okanagan

Vernon’s 14 stores pay second highest business licence fees

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick roundup of the stories that made headlines across the Okanagan, from April 11 to 16

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

An Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island (XRVI) climate change event in 2019 saw a large crowd occupy the Johnson Street bridge. Black Press File Photo
‘In grief for our dying world’: B.C. climate activists embark on 4-day protest

Demonstrators will walk through Vancouver for the first two days before boarding a ferry Sunday morning

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

Valen a student of Coldstream Elementary writes advice for adults amid a pandemic.
‘We can get rid of COVID together’: B.C. kids share heartwarming advice

Elementary students share their wisdom to adults in unprecedented times

Mervin Mascarenhas giving one of his pens to Honorary JP-MP. Premier David Burt of Bermuda. (Image: Mervin Mascarenhas)
Kelowna man who made $90K ‘Space Pen’ recognized by dignitaries, sheikhs

Mervin Mascarenhas is the first Canadian to grace the cover of Millennium Millionaire Magazine

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. health minister says delay in Moderna vaccine ‘disappointing’

‘The sooner we get vaccines in people’s arms the better, and inconsistency in delivery is a consistent problem. This is simply a reality and not an issue of blame,’ Adrian Dix said Friday

(Police handout/Kamloops RCMP)
B.C. man dies in custody awaiting trial for Valentine’s Day robbery, kidnapping spree

Robert James Rennie, who was on the Kamloops RCMP’s most wanted list, passed away at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Coquitlam

Most Read