Five B.C. pharmacists have been reprimanded and fined between $1,000 and $3,000 each for their involvement in a scam where tens of thousands of prescriptions were falsely processed or were not had not been authorized by the prescriber.
The college said the actions put the health of patients and family members at risk
The College of Pharmacists of British Columbia, in decisions spanning two months, disciplined Da Seul Kim, Gary Tse-Hong Shum, Jenny Phu, Henry Yu Qu Liang and Patrick Quon in individual decisions, each noting, “multiple registrants were involved in this matter.”
The incidents spanned January 2012 to June 2018 and involved practices in Vancouver, Richmond, North Vancouver.
In each decision, the college noted people being pressured by pharmacy owners “to commit these actions,” that they personally did not stand to gain financially from what occurred.
The college found 20,000 false transactions were processed on patient Pharmanet records at two pharmacies where the pharmacists worked.
The college said medications were not actually dispensed, or were processed as one-day or seven-day supplies “for the sole purpose of artificially inflating prescription counts.”
The college’s investigation further found that in the same period, more than 10,000 transactions were processed on patient PharmaNet records for medications that were actually authorized but processed as one-day supplies or seven-day supplies when there was no clinical indication to do so.
The college said those medications were not actually dispensed to the patient on a daily or weekly basis, making PharmaNet records inaccurate.
This too was done for the sole purpose of artificially inflating prescription counts, the college said.
The investigation found “patients” whose PharmaNet records were affected were all either current or former employees of the two pharmacies, or family members of former employees of the two pharmacies.
“Reportedly, the owner of the two pharmacies had directed for transactions to be processed in the above manner in order to artificially inflate prescription counts at both pharmacies,” the college said.
In some cases, backdated records were found.
Quon, Kim and Phu were fined $3,000 each while Shum and Liang were fined $1,000.
Each was fined a varying amount, ordered to take ethics training, had permanent reprimands put in their college files or told not to act as a pharmacy manager for 180 days.