The College of Pharmacists of British Columbia has fined a pharmacist in Salmon Arm $25,000 for reselling pharmacy supplies and prescription medications stolen by a hospital employee.
According to the complaint outcome, an investigation found that Laurent Pierre Roy was likely aware of the "diverted nature" of the supplies, which he had been purchasing from at least 2011 until 2018.
The college has suspended Roy for a year starting Aug. 24. It has also ordered that he not work as a pharmacy manager, director or officer for a period of three years, and to not supervise pharmacy students for the same amount of time. Roy will also have to complete an ethics course.
The complaint outcome says the inquiry committee determined that Roy's actions were likely based on financial gain, and indicated 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," the college said in the outcome.
Interior Health lawsuit
The complaint outcome doesn't name the hospital employee, but the Interior Health Authority names him as Ian Petterson in a statement of claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court in June.
The statement says Petterson worked for Interior Health from 1994 to 2018, with some or all of that time spent working at Shuswap Lake General Hospital.
Interior Health alleges that, starting in at least 2004, Petterson started "wrongfully manipulating pharmacy transactions" and sold them to Salmon Arm Remedy's RX. The statement names Roy as the owner of the company that owned the pharmacy.
The allegations against Petterson include:
- Removing medication from the hospital pharmacy inventory and selling it to Remedy's for cash, which he kept.
- Manipulating transactions in the hospital pharmacy inventory, concealing invoices for Remedy's.
- Personally delivering the misappropriated medication to Remedy's and Roy.
Interior Health's allegations against Roy include:
- Ordering medication from Petterson directly instead of through the Interior Health purchasing system.
- Buying medication from Petterson at below-market prices and paying him in cash.
- Manipulating Remedy's inventory system to conceal that medication.
According to the statement, the arrangement was first detected by a Remedy's employee who saw a bag of cash labelled "SLGH $500." Interior Health was notified and Petterson was fired in 2018 after an internal investigation.
Interior Health is seeking relief for general and special damages, as well as costs. Petterson and Roy have yet to file a counterclaim. The allegations have not been proven in court.