Kootenay pharmacist who pilfered narcotics gets suspended | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kootenay pharmacist who pilfered narcotics gets suspended

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A Kootenay pharmacist with a history of infractions has been suspended for six months and fined $1,000 for swiping narcotics over a three-month period.

According to a March 20 College of Pharmacists of B.C. decision, Trail pharmacist Joshua Bruce McPherson "misappropriated" 1,555 tablets and 1.5 litres of narcotic medication between June and August 2022.

"In addition to the serious misconduct, the (McPherson) created inaccurate computer inventory records and placed himself at significant risk of harm by taking unauthorized medication for his personal use," the decision reads.

The decision says the pharmacist "misappropriated" the drugs "all for personal use."

McPherson signed a consent agreement admitting to his conduct.

According to McPherson's Linkedin page, he worked as a relief pharmacist for Loblaws covering mostly the Kootenays.

It's not the first time McPherson has been in trouble with the regulator.

In October 2020, while working in Castlegar, he was reprimanded and barred from being a director for two years after he failed to follow procedures for transferring patients' prescriptions.

He was back in from of the regulator two months later for not following protocol while refilling prescriptions for Opioid Agonist Treatment. The infractions spanned a period from 2016 to 2019.

For this, he was barred from being a pharmacist manager for one year and wasn't allowed to provide emergency prescription refills for narcotics.

However, he ignored the regulator's instructions and was back in front of the regulator again in May 2021.

McPherson admitted to acting as a pharmacy manager in Castlegar, Kamloops and Cranbrook. He also dispensed emergency supply narcotics.

This time he was suspended for three months and ordered not to be a manager for two years.

READ MORE: Two Salmon Arm pharmacists charged with fraud in drugs theft

In his recent infraction the pharmacist regulator suspended McPherson for six months and restricted him from being a manager or overseeing students for three years.

He's also barred for five years from placing and receiving orders for narcotics and having signing authority for such substances. He'll also have to take a course on ethics for healthcare professionals.

"His actions were a serious contravention of standards in the Code of Ethics and compromised the public’s trust in the pharmacy profession as a whole," the decision reads.

READ MORE: B.C. pharmacist who faked his COVID-19 vaccinations suspended for 30 days

While the misappropriation of the narcotics would appear to be theft, there is no indication McPherson has been criminally charged.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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