Cartier Authorised After-Sale Services provider fined for failing to provide after-ship services article A former pharmacy technician from Saint-Laurent, Que., who pleaded guilty to criminal charges for selling the counterfeit prescription medicine that led to a $1.4-million fraud, was fined $2,300, a decision that will have a significant impact on the supply of the medicine to the Quebec government.
The Montreal-based pharmacy operator, which was one of the leading providers of pharmacists and dispensers, is appealing the $300 fine.
“The consequences of this will be a significant decrease in the supply for the Quebec health care system, which is a significant public health concern,” Justice Marie-Pierre Thibodeau said.
Thibodeau handed down the fine after hearing testimony from pharmacists who said they had been forced to turn to a third party to provide pharmacists with after-payments for the counterfeit medicines.
In the hearing in Montreal on Monday, Thibodeaus said that while the pharmacist’s actions may have contributed to the loss of more than $1 million, he had no knowledge of any fraud or improper use of the medication.
He also said the pharmacy had “shown a high degree of integrity” by reporting the problem to authorities.
However, Thibadeau also noted that Cartier would have to prove that the pharmacy provided its services in accordance with the terms of its licence.
Cartier’s president, Pascal Dauphin, said the fine was “a slap in the face” for the pharmacy’s employees and customers.
“Our pharmacies are always subject to stringent inspections, but we are very pleased with the decision,” he said.
“The fines will only serve to highlight the fact that the French-language pharmacy is in a precarious position.”
Thibaudeau said Cartier had to face up to the fact it was responsible for a very high level of fraud, which resulted in a “loss of money that was beyond our control.”
“We can only hope that in the future, there will be greater oversight of pharmacies and their operations, and the enforcement of the law,” Thibodeaux said.
“It is a difficult time for pharmacists in Quebec.
We will continue to fight to make the French language pharmacy safer, and we hope that all pharmacists will continue doing their job in accordance to the law.”
With files from the Canadian Press