College roots out the bad, white-collar dealers, one pharmacist at a time
2019-08-08 from vancouversun.com
When you think about shady drug dealers, it’s usually in the context of the Downtown Eastside or the Surrey Strip.
But in the last three months alone, the B.C. College of Pharmacists has rooted out some white-collar guys who were running illegal pharmacies, faking prescriptions, doling out methadone improperly, and plumping up their dispensing numbers with made-up prescriptions for over-the-counter drugs and vitamins.
While their crimes don’t have the same kind of mean-streets vibe as the illicit dealers, it doesn’t mean that the guys in white coats didn’t do some seriously bad things.
Let’s start with William Byron Sam, who is still under investigation by the college for “knowingly operating an unlicensed pharmacy.”
A complaint outcome report posted on the college’s website says “serious public risk indicators were present within the pharmacy.“ It doesn’t spell out what those serious risks are and, in an emailed response to my question about where Sam was getting the drugs from, the college refused to say.
In March, the college cancelled the licence for Garlane Pharmacy #2, which Sam was operating at 104-3380 Maquinna Dr. in Vancouver’s Champlain Heights.
(It still has two five-star ratings on Yelp! So, if it’s a legitimate drugstore you’re after, you might want to check the college’s listings.)
Sam’s problems began in 2015 with a practice review, which was followed up by a request for more information. In 2017, the college told him his conduct would be the subject of a hearing, admonishing him for failing to respond to the college after a practice review in 2015 and to a request for more information in 2016.
In May, Salma Sadrudin Damji, another Vancouver pharmacist, was found to have used a prescription pad from a medical clinic and falsified 62 prescriptions for Schedule 1 drugs, which include heroin, LSD, ecstasy and methaqualone (aka Quaalude) using three patient names and two physician names. In May, the college fined her $1,000, imposed a 90-day suspension and forbid her from owning or managing a pharmacy for three years or acting as a preceptor or mentor for pharmacy students.
Beyond that, the college says it can’t comment.
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