B.C. pharmacist who 'diverted' and sold prescription medications loses licence for 1 year
Medication on a shelf. (File photo)
VANCOUVER -- A B.C. pharmacist has been fined and formally suspended for a full year after he was caught diverting and reselling prescription medication from a hospital pharmacy.
Between 2011 and 2018, Ian Douglas Petterson, who worked at a hospital pharmacy, sold the pharmacy’s supplies and medication to a community pharmacy and kept the cash, according to an April 27 disciplinary ruling from the B.C. College of Pharmacists.
“The Former Registrant (Petterson) sold the diverted supplies to a community pharmacist in exchange for cash payments and did not deposit the funds obtained from sales into hospital accounts,” it reads.
Evidence of the actions came in the form of text messages and emails, and Petterson appears to have benefited financially and professionally from his action, according to the college.
“The hospital had policies and procedures in place to prevent theft and diversion, and ... the Former Registrant circumvented these processes by using his title and status within the hospital,” it continues.
The committee that investigated the case said Petterson’s actions required “serious remediation and deterrence.”
Petterson has been fined $35,000, and must retake the pharmacist’s licensing exam. If he passes and is reinstated, his standing as a registered pharmacist will then be immediately suspended for a full year.
Petterson must also appear before a committee for a “verbal reprimand,” attend and pass a professional healthcare ethics course and will have a letter of reprimand placed on his permanent record. He’s also banned from managing a pharmacy or supervising pharmacy students for three years.
The committee also found that Petterson’s actions “appeared deliberate and intentional,” and were “a serious contravention” of ethics codes and the laws that govern pharmacies and prescription medication.
They also said that because he was working for and diverting supplies from a public institution, he violated the trust of citizens.
“The Former Registrant’s actions were a violation of the trust placed in him by society as a whole,” reads the ruling.