Two Shuswap men face criminal charges of theft and fraud relating to the alleged sale of misappropriated medications.
Ian Petterson and Laurent Roy were scheduled to appear in Salmon Arm Provincial Court on Tuesday, March 14, both charged with theft and fraud over $5,000.
The court appearance occurred close to three years after Interior Health filed a notice of civil claim against Petterson and Roy. The health authority alleged that between 2004 and 2018, Petterson, a former pharmacist at Shuswap Lake General Hospital, had conspired in unlawful conduct with Laurent Roy who, during this period, was a pharmacist and owner of Remedy’s RX by McGuire Lake.
The Salmon Arm court registry confirmed Thursday, March 16, that the civil action had been dismissed “without any cost to any party.”
Laurent Pierre Roy and Ian Douglas Petterson entered consent agreements with the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia (CPBC), Roy in August 2020 and Petterson in April 2021.
The CPBC alleged that between 2011 and 2018, Roy had purchased pharmacy supplies, including prescription medications, from a hospital employee for cash. The supplies had allegedly been diverted from the hospital by a hospital employee.
“Evidence in the form of communication suggested the Registrant (Roy) was aware of the diverted nature of the supplies he purchased, and that some of the cash he paid for the supplies to the hospital employee were diverted away from hospital accounts,” reads a CPBC notice of action. “The Registrant may have benefited financially by purchasing the supplies from the hospital employee and then reselling the supplies from his pharmacy.”
The CPBC inquiry committee said the Registrant was likely aware of the nature of the supplies he was purchasing, and determined the Registrant’s decision to continue making purchases “was likely based on financial gain, and this indicated a pattern of poor judgement.”
“His actions were a serious contravention of standards in the Code of Ethics and compromised the public’s trust in the pharmacy profession,” reads the notice.
As part of the agreement, Roy was required to pay a $25,000 fine, his registration as a pharmacist was suspended for one year and he was suspended from serving as a pharmacy manager until Aug. 24, 2024. Roy also agreed to complete and pass an ethics course for health-care professionals, and would have a letter of reprimand placed on his CPBC register indefinitely.
CPBC alleged Petterson, who is no longer registered with the college, between 2011 and 2018 diverted pharmacy supplies, including prescription medications, from a hospital pharmacy, selling them “to a community pharmacist in exchange for cash payments, and did not deposit the funds obtained from sales into hospital accounts.”
“Evidence in the form of emails and text messages appeared to indicate the Former Registrant circumvented hospital processes to divert the supplies from the hospital pharmacy,” reads the CPBC notice of action. “The evidence appeared to indicate the Former Registrant took steps to conceal his actions. The Former Registrant is likely to have benefited financially and professionally from the diversion and sale of the hospital supplies.”
Under his consent agreement, Petterson was fined $35,000, his registration as a pharmacist was suspended for one year and he was not to be a pharmacy manager, or director or officer of a pharmacy for a period of three years following the completion of his suspension. Petterson was also required to complete and pass an ethics course.
None of the criminal allegations have been proven in court. Petterson and Roy are scheduled for another court appearance on Tuesday, April 25, 2023.
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