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Salmon Arm pharmacists charged with fraud, theft from Shuswap Lake General Hospital

Pharmacists charged

Two Salmon Arm pharmacists have been charged with fraud and theft from Shuswap Lake General Hospital.

Ian Petterson and Laurent Roy are charged with theft over $5,000 and fraud over $5,000.

The charges follow a 2020 College of Pharmacists ruling that banned Roy, owner of the Salmon Arm Remedy’s RX, from the profession for a year.

He was also fined $25,000 for purchasing pharmacy supplies and medication stolen from the hospital.

The crimes are alleged to have happened between at least 2011 and 2018.

"Evidence in the form of communication suggested the registrant 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," the college said in a discipline report.

The college didn't name the hospital employee, but Interior Health did in a civil lawsuit in June of 2020.

IH alleged that Petterson, a staff pharmacist at the hospital, began diverting pharmacy supplies in 2004 until his employment with IH ceased in 2018.

The lawsuit alleged Petterson sold Roy medication for cash at below-market prices, while Roy manipulated the inventory system at his pharmacy to conceal incoming undocumented medication.

The scheme was discovered in 2018 when an employee at the pharmacy observed a bag of cash labelled 'SLGH $500,' which Roy had told another employee would be picked up by Petterson.

The two pharmacists now face criminal charges over the matter, although it's unclear why it took so long to come to court.

Petterson and Roy made first court appearance in Salmon Arm on Tuesday.

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