Interior Health suing 2 Salmon Arm pharmacists alleging they colluded in cash for drugs scheme - InfoNews

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Interior Health suing 2 Salmon Arm pharmacists alleging they colluded in cash for drugs scheme

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June 27, 2020 - 12:46 PM

Interior Health is taking court action against two Salmon Arm pharmacists which it alleges colluded in a scam and pocketed cash by doctoring invoices and misappropriating medication.

In the civil suit filed at Salmon Arm Supreme Court, Jun. 19, Interior Health claims Ian Petterson, a former staff pharmacist, and Laurent Roy,  the owner of Salmon Arm Remedy’s RX, of collaborating in various "wrongful acts" to "convert Interior Health property" for their own use and benefit for roughly 16 years.
 
According to the statement of claim, Interior Health fired Petterson following an internal investigation after a staff member reported finding a bag of cash labelled “SLGH $500." It also says Petterson had worked as a pharmacist at the Shuswap Lake General Hospital since 1994 and began "manipulating pharmacy transactions" for sales to Remedy in 2004.

The statement of claim says Petterson removed medication without invoicing for it and sold it to Remedy’s pharmacy for cash. The claim goes on to say Petterson then disguised the records and had staff give invoices for Remedy’s to him so he could destroy them.

While the accusations appear to be criminal, it does not appear that any criminal charges have been laid in reference to the case.

The statement of claim accuses Roy of purchasing medication directly from Petterson which was against an Interior Health directive adopted in 2012. The directive stopped outside businesses purchasing medication from the health authority.

The statement of claim says Roy bought medication at below-market prices from Petterson paying cash, and then manipulated his inventory system to conceal it.

"At all material times, as licensed pharmacists, Petterson and Roy owed ethical duties to act with honesty and integrity in all professional relationships and not participate in, condone, or associate with dishonesty, fraud, misrepresentation or any other kind of unethical or illegal behaviour," reads the court document.

Roy is still registered with the B.C. College of Pharmacists and has no conditions listed on his file, while Petterson is no longer registered.

While Interior Health is suing for loss of revenue and replacement of the medication, no dollar amount is given.

The defendants in the case have yet to file a statement in defence.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.


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