Discipline, Summer 2021

Discipline Decisions (Summer 2021)

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Imelda Castillo (OCP #612932)

Following a hearing held on March 2, 3, 4, and 6, 2020, a Panel of the Discipline Committee made findings of professional misconduct against Imelda Castillo in a decision dated August 20, 2020, in that she:

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  • Failed to maintain the professional boundaries of the pharmacist-patient relationship when she developed and engaged in a non-professional, personal relationship with the patient, [Name], from in or about [Specified Date 1] to in or about [Specified Date 2]; and/or
  • Engaged in sexual abuse of the patient, [Name], on one or more occasions, from in or about [Specified Date 1] to in or about [Specified Date 2], with respect to touching, of a sexual nature, of the patient by the Member.

In particular, the Panel found that the Member:

  • Failed to maintain a standard of practice of the profession;
  • Contravened the Act, the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act, the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, the Narcotics Safety and Awareness Act, 2010, the Drug Interchangeability and Dispensing Fee Act or the Ontario Drug Benefit Act or the regulations under those Acts;
  • Engaged in conduct or performed an act relevant to the practice of pharmacy that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members of the profession as disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional.

Following submissions regarding the order to be made, which were heard on November 19, 2020, the Panel issued an Order, in a decision dated March 11, 2021, as follows:

1. A reprimand, to be administered no later than thirty (30) days from the date that this Order becomes final;

2. Directing the Registrar to suspend the Member’s Certificate of Registration for a period of twelve (12) months, with the suspension commencing on the date that this Order becomes final;

3. Directing the Registrar to impose specified terms, conditions or limitations on the Member’s Certificate of Registration, as follows:

a. That the Member successfully complete, with an unconditional pass at her own expense, and within twelve (12) months from the date that the Order becomes final, the ProBE Program: Professional/Problem-Based Ethics, offered by the Centre for Personalized Education for Professionals; and

b. That the Member successfully complete at her own expense, and within twelve (12) months from the date that she successfully completes the ProBE course, a course with Gail E. Siskind Consulting Services, or another professional ethics consultant acceptable to the College, designed by the consultant with the purpose of addressing the professional misconduct issues raised in this case. The following terms shall apply to the course:

i. The number of sessions shall be at the discretion of the consultant, but shall be no fewer than two (2);

ii. The manner of attendance at the sessions (for example, in person, via Skype, etc.) shall be discussed in advance between the Member and the consultant, but ultimately shall be at the discretion of the consultant;

iii. The Member shall provide the consultant with the Panel’s decisions in this case, her evaluation from the ProBE course, and any essay she completes as part of that course. The Member shall discuss the issues arising from that course with the consultant;

iv. Successful completion of the course includes completion of an essay acceptable to the Registrar, which essay shall address the professional misconduct issues arising in this case;

v. The essay shall be at least 1,000 words in length and the Member shall be responsible for the cost of the essay’s review by the consultant to assist the Registrar to determine whether the essay is acceptable, up to a maximum of $500; and

vi. The Member shall direct the consultant to report the results of the ethics course to the College, which report shall be made no later than twenty-four (24) months from the date this Order becomes final, to confirm that the Member completed the course to the consultant’s satisfaction;

4. That the Member reimburse the College for funding provided to the patient under the program required under s. 85.7 of the Code, and shall post an irrevocable letter of credit or other security acceptable to the College to guarantee payment of such amounts within thirty (30) days from the date that this Panel’s Order becomes final, in the amount of $16,060.00;

5. That the Member pay a fine of $300.00 to the Minister of Finance within thirty (30) days from the date that this Order becomes final. The Member shall notify the College with information acceptable to the College that the fine was paid no more than seven (7) days after the day that the fine is paid;

6. That the Member pay costs to the College in the amount of $60,000.00, which amount shall be paid monthly, in equal amounts, within twenty-four (24) months from the day of the first payment, with the first payment commencing no later than thirty (30) days from the date that this Order becomes final.

In the oral reprimand delivered on April 22, 2021, the Panel noted that the Member’s misconduct was shameful. It was among the most serious misconduct that a member of this College may commit.

The Member was aware that her relationship with a patient was a breach of professional boundaries, but she did nothing to terminate the pharmacist-patient relationship. She also knew that the patient was a vulnerable patient. Her actions harmed her patient. She personally and financially benefitted from her misconduct and she never expressed remorse for her actions.

The Panel expressed that practicing pharmacy is a privilege that must be earned. The privilege is granted to those who possess the knowledge, skill and judgement to practice safely and ethically. The Member failed in her duty as a pharmacist to practice safely. The Member’s behaviour casts doubt on her moral fitness to practice the profession.

The Panel expressed its view that the Member must change her ways and learn from this shameful experience. The Order contains important remediation and rehabilitation measures. She must take these measures seriously, learn from them, and apply them in her practice.


Li Ping Zhang (OCP #613277)

At a hearing on March 15, 2021, a Panel of the Discipline Committee made findings of professional misconduct against Li Ping Zhang, as a Designated Manager and/or dispensing pharmacist, with respect to the following incidents:

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  • She failed to adequately document patient assessments (if any) before dispensing narcotic prescriptions to patients for the first time to ensure that the medication(s) being dispensed was appropriate contrary to the Ontario College of Pharmacists’ Documentation Guidelines;
  • She failed to document pertinent discussions with other pharmacies and prescribers after receiving Drug Utilization Review warning response codes from the Narcotics Monitoring System, and accordingly, failed to comply with the Ontario College of Pharmacists’ Documentation Guidelines on the following occasions:

i. On or around October 3, 2018 with respect to prescription #[number];
ii. On or around October 5, 2018 with respect to prescription #[number];
iii. On or around October 10, 2018 with respect to prescription #[number]; and
iv. On or around October 30, 2018 with respect to prescription #[number]

  • She failed to record her assessments (if any) of the appropriateness of dispensing narcotics prescribed by physician Dr. [Name] between approximately October 1, 2018 to November 19, 2018;
  • She engaged in the practice of pharmacy without keeping accurate and/or complete records as required.

In particular, the Panel found that she:

  • Failed to maintain standards of practice of the profession;
  • Failed to keep records and/or documentation with respect to her patients and/or practice;
  • Engaged in conduct or performed acts that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members of the profession as unprofessional.

The Panel imposed an Order, as follows:

1. A reprimand;

2. Directing the Registrar to impose the following specified terms, conditions or limitations on the Member’s certificate of registration:

a. Requiring that the Member successfully complete, at her own expense and within twelve (12) months of the date of this Order, a course with Gail E. Siskind Consulting Services, or another professional ethics consultant approved by the College, to be designed by the consultant, with the general aim of addressing the facts and findings of professional misconduct in this case, including the role of pharmacists in identifying problematic prescribing patterns and preventing narcotic misuse and/or diversion. The following terms shall apply to the course:

i. The number of sessions shall be at the discretion of the consultant, but shall be no fewer than one (1);

ii. The manner of attendance at the session is a matter to be discussed in advance between the Member and the consultant, but shall ultimately be at the discretion of the consultant;

iii. The Member shall be responsible for the cost of the course;

iv. In order to successfully complete the course, the Member must ensure that the consultant delivers a report on the results of the course to the College after completion, which shall be no later than twelve (12) months from the date of this Order;

b. Requiring that the Member successfully complete, at her own expense and within twelve (12) months of the date of this Order, the “Safe and Effective Use of Opioids for Chronic Non-cancer Pain” course offered online through the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health;

3. Directing the Registrar to suspend the Member’s Certificate of Registration for a period of one (1) month, to be fully remitted on condition that the Member completes the remedial training specified in paragraph 2a) and 2b) above. If the suspension is required to be served, it shall commence on March 16, 2022, and continue without interruption until April 15, 2022, inclusive, unless the time for completing the remedial steps in paragraph 2a) and/or 2b), above, is extended by the Registrar, in which case the commencement date of the suspension, if required, shall be adjusted accordingly;

4. Costs to the College in the amount of $10,000.

In its reprimand, the Panel noted that pharmacy is a self-regulated profession, and that pharmacists bear the responsibility to follow the standards of practice, laws, and recommendations for detailed record keeping and documentation. As a pharmacist, Ms. Zhang has significant obligations to the public, the profession, and herself.

The Panel pointed out that Ms. Zhang failed in her responsibilities by dispensing narcotics to patients without adequately documenting the patient assessments and/or counselling, and by failing to document her assessments of the alerts received from the Ontario Narcotic Monitoring System.

The Panel observed that Ms. Zhang is responsible for identifying and responding to the Ontario Narcotic Monitoring System alerts during her pharmacy practice, and for ensuring that her responses to these alerts are documented. Proper documentation is essential to optimize patient safety and prevent potential inappropriate use and abuse of monitored drugs.

The Panel expressed its expectation that the remediation ordered will provide Ms. Zhang with an opportunity to improve her future pharmacy practice and that she will not appear before a panel of the Discipline Committee again.


Angela MacLellan (OCP #537061)

At a hearing on March 29, 2021, a Panel of the Discipline Committee made findings of professional misconduct against Angela MacLellan, as a pharmacy technician, in that she:

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  • Processed, created false records, and signed prescription hardcopies for approximately 2977 transactions for prescriptions of nerve blocks that were not dispensed from Custom Care Pharmacy & Compounding Centre, from on or about December 2015 to on or about January 22, 2018; and/or
  • Processed, created false records, and signed prescription hardcopies for approximately 7161 transactions for prescriptions of nerve blocks that were not dispensed from Specialty Pharma Solutions from on or about May 2017 to on or about January 22, 2018.

In particular, the Panel found that she:

  • Failed to maintain a standard of practice of the profession;
  • Falsified a record related to her practice and/or a person’s health record;
  • Signed or issued, in her professional capacity, a document that she knew and/or ought to have known contained a false or misleading statement;
  • Engaged in conduct or performed an act relevant to the practice of pharmacy that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as dishonourable and unprofessional.

The Panel imposed an Order, as follows:

1. A reprimand;

2. Directing the Registrar to impose specified terms, conditions or limitations on the Member’s certificate of registration, requiring that:

a. the Member successfully complete, within six (6) months of the date on which she obtains an active certificate of registration, a course with a professional ethics consultant chosen by the College, to be designed by the consultant, regarding the issues raised by the facts and findings of professional misconduct in this case, and the following terms shall apply to the course:

i. the number of sessions shall be at the discretion of the consultant, but shall be a minimum of two (2) and a maximum of three (3) meetings;

ii. the manner of attendance at the session(s) (e.g. in person, via Skype, etc.) is a matter to be discussed in advance between the Member and the consultant, but shall ultimately be at the discretion of the consultant;

iii. the Member shall be responsible for the cost of the course;

iv. the Member shall provide to the consultant the following documents, in advance of the course, to facilitate the design of the course:

          • the Notice of Hearing;
          • the Agreed Statement of Facts;
          • this Joint Submission on Order; and
          • the Panel’s Decision and Reasons, if and when available;

v. successful completion of the course will include completion of an essay, acceptable to the Registrar, addressing the issues raised in this matter; and

vi. the Member will request a report from the consultant confirming that the Member has completed the course to the satisfaction of the consultant, and the Member will provide a copy of the report to the College within six (6) months of the date of this Order.

b. For a period of one year, commencing on the date on which the Member obtains an active certificate of registration, the Member shall be prohibited from:

i. having a proprietary interest of any kind in a pharmacy;

ii. receiving any remuneration for her work as a pharmacist technician other than remuneration based on hourly or weekly rates only.

3. That the Registrar suspend the Member’s Certificate of Registration for a period of four (4) months, with one (1) month of the suspension to be remitted on condition that the Member completes the remedial training as specified in paragraph 2(a), above. The suspension shall commence on the date on which the Member obtains an active certificate of registration, and shall continue for three (3) months, without interruption. If the remitted portion of the suspension is required to be served by the Member because she fails to complete the remedial requirement specified in paragraph 2(a), that portion of the suspension shall commence on the date that is six (6) months from the date that the Member obtains an active certificate of registration, and shall continue for one (1) month, inclusive. If the time for completing the remedial steps in paragraph 2, above, is extended by the Registrar, the date on which the remitted portion of the suspension shall commence, if required, shall be adjusted accordingly.

4. Costs to the College in the amount of $8,500.

In its reprimand, the Panel noted that integrity, trust, and professional conduct are at the core of the practice of pharmacy and the delivery of care to the public. In return, Pharmacy Technicians are held in high regard by the public.

The Panel pointed out that pharmacy is a self-regulated profession, the members of which bear the responsibility to ensure that it maintain the trust of those members and the public. The practice of pharmacy is a privilege that carries with it significant obligations to the public, the profession, and oneself.

The Panel acknowledged Ms. MacLellan’s acceptance of responsibility for her actions and her cooperation during this process. The Panel expressed its view that by resigning her certificate of registration, the College’s mandate of public protection has been met.


Yasser Ibrahim (OCP #213405)

At a hearing on March 30, 2021, a Panel of the Discipline Committee made findings of professional misconduct against Yasser Ibrahim, while engaged in the practice of pharmacy as a director, shareholder, owner, Designated Manager, and/or dispensing pharmacist, in that he:

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  • Submitted (or permitted, consented to or approved, expressly or by implication, the submissions of) charges for drugs and/or products that were never dispensed and/or that were not authorized for one or more of certain identified drugs and/or products between in or about January 2012 and in or about May 2019;
  • Provided pharmaceutical care to himself and/or one or more family members on one or more occasions between in or about May 2017 and in or about May 2019;
  • Submitted false claims, falsified records, and/or failed to keep records as required with respect to approximately 2 claims for MedsCheck reviews in or about October 2018; and/or
  • Transferred, sold, and/or provided narcotics and/or controlled drugs to another pharmacy in circumstances prohibited by the Narcotic Control Regulations, CRC c 1041 with respect to one or more of certain identified prescriptions between in or about October 2013 and in or about January 2019.

In particular, the Panel found that he:

  • Failed to maintain a standard of practice of the profession;
  • Failed to keep records as required respecting his patients and/or practice;
  • Falsified a record relating to his practice and/or a person’s health record;
  • Signed or issued, in his professional capacity, a document that he knew and/or ought to have known contained a false or misleading statement;
  • Submitted an account or charge for services or products that he knew and/or ought to have known was false or misleading;
  • Contravened a federal, provincial or territorial law with respect to the distribution, sale or dispensing of any drug or mixture of drugs, with respect to the distribution, purchase, sale, dispensing or prescribing of any drug or product, the administering of any substance, or the piercing of the dermis, whose purpose is to protect or promote the public health, and/or that is otherwise relevant to his suitability to practise, and in particular:
    • Sections 31 and/or 45 of the Narcotic Control Regulations, CRC c 1041, as amended;
  • Engaged in conduct or performed an act relevant to the practice of pharmacy that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional.

The Panel imposed an Order, as follows:

1. A reprimand;

2. Directing the Registrar to suspend the Member’s certificate of registration for a period of 12 months with one month to be remitted on the condition that the Member complete the remedial training specified in subparagraph 3(a) within 12 months of the date of the Order. The suspension shall commence on March 30, 2021 and shall continue without interruption until February 28, 2022, inclusive. In the event that the Member has not completed the remedial training specified in subparagraph 3(a) by March 30, 2022, the remitted portion of the suspension will be served, and shall commence on March 31, 2022, and continue without interruption until April 30, 2022, inclusive.

3. Directing the Registrar to impose specified terms, conditions or limitations on the Member’s certificate of registration, including:

a. The Member must successfully complete, with an unconditional pass, at his own expense and within 12 months of the date of this Order, the ProBE Program on professional/problem-based ethics for health care professionals offered by the Centre for Personalized Education for Physicians;

b. For a period of three (3) years from the date of this Order, the Member shall be prohibited from having any proprietary interest in a pharmacy of any kind and/or receiving remuneration for his work as a pharmacist other than remuneration on an hourly or weekly basis;

c. For a period of three (3) years from the date of this Order, the Member shall be prohibited from acting as a Designated Manager in any pharmacy;

d. For a period of three (3) years from the date of this Order, the Member shall be required to notify the College in writing of the names(s), address(s) and telephone numbers(s) of all employer(s) within fourteen (14) days of commencing employment in a pharmacy;

e. For a period of three (3) years from the date of this Order, the Member shall provide his pharmacy employer with a copy of the Discipline Committee Panel’s decision in this matter and its Order; and

f. For a period of three (3) years from the date of this Order, the Member shall only engage in the practice of pharmacy for an employer who agrees to write to the College within fourteen (14) days of the Member commencing employment, confirming that it has received a copy of the required documents identified in subparagraph 3(e), and confirming the nature of the Member’s remuneration.

4. Requiring the Member to pay a fine of $10,000 payable to the Minister of Finance.

5. Costs to the College in the amount of $10,000.

In its reprimand, the Panel noted Mr. Ibrahim is a member of the noble profession of pharmacy, a profession with the duty of serving and protecting the public interest. Pharmacists are held in high regard for their role in providing healthcare to their patients. By his actions, Mr. Ibrahim damaged the reputation of the profession.

The Panel related that it was particularly concerned because the misconduct continued over a period of seven years. It expressed its expectation that Mr. Ibrahim will learn from this shameful experience, and that he will take this opportunity to change his ways by undertaking the rehabilitation measures in the Order.

The Panel relayed its hope that Mr. Ibrahim will never again have to appear before this Discipline Committee.


Umair Nasim (OCP #215241)

At a hearing on October 1 and 2, 2020, a Panel of the Discipline Committee made findings of professional misconduct against Umair Nasim with respect four referrals from the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee, as follows:

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Referral 1

The Panel found that Mr. Nasim, while engaged in the practice of pharmacy as dispensing pharmacist, designated manager and/or owner, in the period from about June 27, 2017, to May 16, 2018, committed professional misconduct in that he:

  • Failed to take all reasonable steps to keep the Pharmacy’s narcotic and controlled drugs inventory secure against loss and theft;
  • Failed to conduct physical counts and reconciliations of narcotic and controlled drugs inventory as required by the College policy entitled “Medication Procurement and Inventory Management”;
  • Failed to keep adequate records in relation to the Pharmacy’s inventory of narcotics and controlled drugs;
  • Failed to ensure that delivery slips for deliveries of narcotics and controlled drugs were signed by the patients to whom they were delivered.

In particular, the Panel found that he:

  • Failed to maintain a standard of practice of the profession;
  • Failed to keep records as required respecting his practice;
  • Contravened s. 152(1) of the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.4;
  • Contravened a federal or provincial law with respect to the distribution, purchase, sale, or dispensing or prescribing of drugs, in particular ss. 30 and 43 of the Narcotic Control Regulations, C.R.C., c. 1041;
  • Engaged in conduct or performed an act relevant to the practice of pharmacy that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members of the profession as disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional.

Referral 2

The Panel found that Mr. Nasim, while engaged in the practice of pharmacy as dispensing pharmacist, designated manager and/or owner, committed professional misconduct in that he:

  • Submitted (or permitted the submission of) unsubstantiated billings to third party payors, in respect of certain identified products;
  • Failed to keep records as required respecting his patients or practice with respect to certain identified prescriptions;
  • Operated or permitted the MT Cross Pharmacy to operate on or about March 28, 2018, without the supervision of a pharmacist who is physically present.

In particular, the Panel found that he:

  • Failed to maintain a standard of practice of the profession;
  • Failed to keep records as required respecting his patients or practice;
  • Falsified a record in relation to his practice;
  • Signed or issued, in his professional capacity, a document he knew or ought to have known contained a false or misleading statement;
  • Submitted an account or charge for services or products that he knew or ought to have known was false or misleading;
  • Contravened s. 146(1) of the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.4;
  • Engaged in conduct or performed an act relevant to the practice of pharmacy that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members of the profession as disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional.

Referral 3

The Panel found that Mr. Nasim committed professional misconduct with respect to:

  • The finding of guilt made on April 17, 2019 by the Ontario Court of Justice at Hamilton in relation to the following count: that on or about the 16th day of January in the year 2018 at the City of Hamilton, he did contravene sections 30, 42 and 43 of the Narcotic Control Regulations, sections G.03.001(1), G.03.012 and G.03.013 of the Food and Drug Regulations, and sections 7(1)(b) and 50 of the Benzodiazepines and Other Targeted Substances Regulations, thereby committing an offence contrary to section 46 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

In particular, the Panel found that he:

  • Was found guilty of an offence that is relevant to his suitability to practice.

Referral 4

The Panel found that Mr. Nasim, while engaged in the practice of pharmacy as dispensing pharmacist, Designated Manager and/or owner, in the period from about June 27, 2017 to May 16, 2018, committed professional misconduct in that he:

  • Submitted (or permitted the submission of) unsubstantiated billings to third party payors, in respect of the following products: Apo-Cinacalcet 60mg tablets, Apo-Cinacalcet 90mg tablets, Maxalt 10mg tablets, Maxalt RPD 10mg wafers, and/or Apo-Eletriptan 40mg tablets.

In particular, the Panel found that he:

  • Failed to maintain a standard of practice of the profession;
  • Falsified a record in relation to his practice;
  • Signed or issued, in his professional capacity, a document he knew or ought to have known contained a false or misleading statement;
  • Submitted an account or charge for services or products that he knew or ought to have known was false or misleading;
  • Engaged in conduct or performed an act relevant to the practice of pharmacy that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members of the profession as disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional.

The Panel imposed an Order, in a decision dated March 31, 2021, as follows:

1. A reprimand;

2. Directing the Registrar to impose specified terms, conditions or limitations on the Member’s Certificate of Registration, as follows:

a. That the Member complete successfully, at his own expense, within twelve (12) months of the date of this Order, the ProBE Program –Professional/Problem Based Ethics for health care professionals – offered by the Centre for Personalized Education for Physicians;

b. That the Member shall be prohibited, forever, from:

i. Acting as a Designated Manager in any pharmacy; and

ii. Having any proprietary interest in a pharmacy as a sole proprietor or partner, or director or shareholder in a corporation that owns a pharmacy, or in any other capacity, or receiving any remuneration for his work as a pharmacist, or related in any way to the operation of a pharmacy, other than remuneration based on hourly or weekly rates or salary and in particular, not on the basis of any incentive or bonus for prescription sales.

The Member may apply to the Discipline Committee to remove these restrictions, no earlier than five (5) years from the date of this Order;

c. That the Member shall be prohibited, for a period of five (5) years from the date of this Order, from acting as a Narcotic Signer at any pharmacy;

d. That the Member shall, for a period of five (5) years from the date of this Order, provide a copy of the Discipline Committee’s decision to all prospective employers;

e. That the Member’s practice, and all activities at his pharmacy, once permitted, shall be monitored by the College for a period of five (5) years from the last date of the suspension set out in paragraph (3) below, by means of inspections by a representative of the College at such times as the College may determine. The monitoring inspections may be in addition to any of the routine inspections conducted by the College pursuant to its authority under section 148 of the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act. The Member shall cooperate fully with the College during the inspections, and, further, shall pay to the College in respect of such monitoring the amount of $650.00 per inspection, such amount to be paid immediately after each inspection, with the total amount paid by the Member not to exceed $6,500.00, regardless of the number of inspections;

3. Directing the Registrar to suspend the Member’s Certificate of Registration for a period of twenty (20) months, with one month of the suspension to be remitted on condition that the Member completes the remedial training specified in paragraph 2a above. The suspension shall commence on the date that this order becomes final;

4. Costs to the College in the amount of $15,000.

In its reprimand, the Panel noted that, as a pharmacist, Mr. Nasim is a member of a highly respected profession within the healthcare system and the community at large. Integrity and trust are paramount to that profession. Pharmacists provide care to the public and in return are held in high regard for the role we play.

The Panel indicated that it was appalled that Mr. Nasim’s failure as Designated Manager to supervise his pharmacies made way for large amounts of false claims to third party payors and thousands of doses of narcotics trafficked in the community.

The Panel observed that pharmacists are gatekeepers who ensure the security and proper use of narcotics, benzodiazepines, and other targeted substances. One of the responsibilities of a Designated Manager is to ensure that physical counts and reconciliations of all narcotics, controlled drugs and targeted substances are completed at least once every six months. Not only was Mr. Nasim negligent in his duties, he absolutely failed to secure these medications.

The Panel expressed its hope that the remediation ordered will provide Mr. Nasim the opportunity to pause for reflection, to learn, and to approach the dispensing and record keeping of narcotics, benzodiazepines, and other targeted substances with renewed diligence and attention to detail when he re-enters practice.

The Panel pointed out that it strongly considered revocation of Mr. Nasim’s certificate of registration. Given his cooperation, insight, and expressions of remorse, the Panel decided to offer Mr. Nasim one final opportunity to practice as a pharmacist, with the integrity this privilege holds. With this in mind, the Panel indicated its expectation that Mr. Nasim will never appear before a panel of the Discipline Committee again.


Sameet Bawa (OCP #605630)

At a hearing on April 6, 2021, a Panel of the Discipline Committee made findings of professional misconduct against Sameet Bawa, while engaged in the practice of pharmacy as a dispensing pharmacist, Designated Manager, shareholder and/or director, from about January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017, in that he:

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  • Submitted false claims for one or more of certain identified drugs and other products that were not actually dispensed to patients;
  • Falsified records in respect of certain identified prescriptions.

In particular, the Panel found that he:

  • Failed to maintain the standards of practice of the profession;
  • Falsified records relating to his practice;
  • Signed or issued, in his professional capacity, a document that he knew or ought to have known contained a false or misleading statement;
  • Submitted an account or charge for services or products that he knew or ought to have known was false or misleading;
  • Contravened the Pharmacy Act, the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act, the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, or the regulations under those Acts, and in particular:
    • s. 155 of the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H-4, as amended;
  • Contravened a federal or provincial law or municipal by-law with respect to the distribution, sale or dispensing of any drug or mixture of drugs, and in particular:
    • ss. 5 and 15(1) of the Ontario Drug Benefit Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.10, as amended;
  • Permitted, consented to, approved, counselled or assisted, whether expressly or by implication, the commission of an offence against any Act relating to the practice of pharmacy or the sale of drugs, and in particular:
    • ss. 155 and 165 of the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H-4, as amended;
  • Engaged in conduct or performed an act relevant to the practice of pharmacy that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members of the profession as disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional.

The Panel imposed an Order, as follows:

  1. A reprimand;
  2. That the Registrar is directed to revoke the Member’s certificate of registration;
  3. That the Member pay a fine in the amount of $35,000 to the Minister of Finance, within nine months of the date of this Order;
  4. Costs to the College in the amount of $20,000.

In its reprimand, the Panel noted that Mr. Bawa, as a pharmacist, was a member of the highly respected profession of pharmacy, which is a key element of the healthcare system and community. The public expects pharmacists to act with integrity, trust, and honesty. The Panel expressed its view that Mr. Bawa failed on all three of these measures.

The Panel observed that pharmacists have an accountability to submit valid claims to the Ontario Drug Benefit Program and other third party payers. Mr. Bawa’s three pharmacies submitted large unsubstantiated billings to the Ontario Drug Benefit Program and other third party payers for drugs that were not dispensed, the magnitude of which is unprecedented. As a director, shareholder, and Designated Manager of his pharmacies, Mr. Bawa was required to ensure the accuracy of claims to all pharmacy payers, which depend on trust and integrity.

The Panel pointed out that it, and the profession at large, was shocked by Mr. Bawa’s conduct, and that revoking his Certificate of Registration was the maximum penalty available.


Atef Besada (OCP #106836)

At a hearing on April 8, 2021, a Panel of the Discipline Committee made findings of professional misconduct against Atef Besada with respect to two referrals from the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee, as follows:

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Referral 1

The Panel found that Mr. Besada, while engaged in the practice of pharmacy as dispensing pharmacist, Designated Manager, shareholder and/or director from about December 1, 2015 to May 28, 2019, committed professional misconduct in that he:

  • Submitted false claims for one or more of certain identified drugs and other products that were not actually dispensed to patients.

In particular, the Panel found that he:

  • Failed to maintain the standards of practice of the profession;
  • Falsified records relating to his practice;
  • Signed or issued, in his professional capacity, a document that he knew or ought to have known contained a false or misleading statement;
  • Submitted an account or charge for services or products that he knew or ought to have known was false or misleading;
  • Contravened the Pharmacy Act, the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act, the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, or the regulations under those Acts, and in particular, ss. 155 and 156 of the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H-4, as amended;
  • Contravened a federal or provincial law or municipal by-law with respect to the distribution, sale or dispensing of any drug or mixture of drugs, and in particular, ss. 5 and 15(1) of the Ontario Drug Benefit Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.10, as amended;
  • Engaged in conduct or performed an act relevant to the practice of pharmacy that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members of the profession as disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional.

Referral 2

The Panel found that Mr. Besada, while engaged in the practice of pharmacy as a dispensing pharmacist, Designated Manager, shareholder and/or director from about October 1, 2015 to May 28, 2019, and/or as a shareholder and/or director from about March 1, 2016 to July 23, 2019, committed professional misconduct in that he:

  • Submitted false claims for one or more of certain identified drugs and other products that were not actually dispensed to patients.

In particular, the Panel found that he:

  • Failed to maintain the standards of practice of the profession;
  • Falsified records relating to his practice;
  • Signed or issued, in his professional capacity, a document that he knew or ought to have known contained a false or misleading statement;
  • Submitted an account or charge for services or products that he knew or ought to have known was false or misleading;
  • Contravened the Pharmacy Act, the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act, the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, or the regulations under those Acts, and in particular, ss. 155 and 156 of the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H-4, as amended;
  • Contravened a federal or provincial law or municipal by-law with respect to the distribution, sale or dispensing of any drug or mixture of drugs, and in particular, ss. 5 and 15(1) of the Ontario Drug Benefit Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.10, as amended;
  • Engaged in conduct or performed an act relevant to the practice of pharmacy that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members of the profession as disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional.

The Panel imposed an Order which included as follows:

1. A reprimand;

2. That the Registrar is directed to impose specified terms, conditions or limitations on the Member’s certificate of registration, and in particular:

a. that the Member complete successfully, with an unconditional pass, at his own expense and within 12 months of the date of this Order, the ProBE Program on Professional/Problem-Based Ethics offered by the Center for Personalized Education for Professionals;

b. That the Member shall be prohibited, for a period of five years from the date of this Order:

i. from acting as a Designated Manager of any pharmacy; and

ii. from holding an ownership interest, of any kind, in any pharmacy.

3. That the Registrar is directed to suspend the Member’s Certificate of Registration for a period of 17 months with one month of the suspension be remitted on condition that the Member complete the remedial training as specified in subparagraph 2(a). The suspension shall commence on April 8, 2021 and shall continue until August 7, 2022, inclusive. If the remitted portion of the suspension is required to be served by the Member because he fails to complete the remedial training as specified in subparagraph 2(a), that portion of the suspension shall commence on August 8, 2022, and shall continue until September 7, 2022, inclusive, unless the time for completing the remedial training in subparagraph 2(a) is extended by the Registrar, in which case, the date on which the remitted portion of the suspension shall commence, if required, shall be adjusted accordingly.

4. Costs to the College in the amount of $10,000.

In its reprimand, the Panel noted that Mr. Besada is a member of the profession of pharmacy, which is a highly respected profession within the healthcare system and community at large. The public expects pharmacists to act with integrity and trust. Pharmacists are also held accountable to the Ontario Drug Benefit Program for submitting valid claims.

The Panel expressed its view that Mr. Besada’s conduct demonstrates a failure to understand and fulfil his ethical obligations while engaging in the practice of pharmacy. The Panel pointed out that the roles of pharmacy Owner and Designated Manager are ones of heavy responsibility.

The Panel noted that Mr. Besada failed in his duties as a pharmacy Owner and Designated Manager. The Panel clarified that he failed in his obligation to maintain the standards of practice of the profession, his ethical obligations, and with respect to pharmacy legislation. Moreover, as the owner of several pharmacies, his conduct may have negatively impacted other professionals working in his environment.

The Panel relayed its hope that the suspension and ethics course will provide Mr. Besada with an opportunity to prevent this type of conduct from occurring in his future pharmacy practice and to remediate his misconduct.

The Panel expressed its expectation that Mr. Besada will not appear again before a panel of the Discipline Committee of the Ontario College of Pharmacists.


Nimet Lalji (OCP #200976)

At a hearing on April 22, 2021, a Panel of the Discipline Committee made findings of professional misconduct against Nimet Lalji with respect to two referrals from the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee, as follows:

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Referral 1

The Panel found that Ms. Lalji, from in or about May 2015 to in or about April 2017, while engaged in the practice of pharmacy as director, shareholder, owner, Designated Manager, and/or dispensing pharmacist, committed professional misconduct in that she:

  • Submitted false, misleading, inaccurate, and/or unsubstantiated claims to the Ontario Drug Benefit Program for one or more of certain identified drugs and/or products and/or one or more of certain identified claims; and/or
  • Failed to keep records as required with respect to one or more of certain identified drugs and/or products and/or one or more of certain identified claims submitted to the Ontario Drug Benefit Program;
  • Dispensed and/or billed for drugs and/or products without a prescription authorized by a prescriber for one or more of certain identified drugs and/or products.

In particular, the Panel found that she:

  • Failed to maintain a standard of practice of the profession;
  • Failed to keep records as required respecting her patients;
  • Falsified a record relating to her practice;
  • Signed or issued, in her professional capacity, a document that she knew or ought to have known contained a false or misleading statement;
  • Submitted an account or charge for services or products that she knew or ought to have known was false or misleading;
  • Contravened the Pharmacy Act, 1991, the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act, the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, or the regulations under those Acts, and in particular:
    • sections 155, 156, and 166 of the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act, as amended;
    • section 20(1) of Ontario Regulation 264/16, as amended; and
    • section 54(1) of Ontario Regulation 58/11, as amended;
  • Contravened a federal or provincial law or municipal by-law with respect to the distribution, sale or dispensing of any drug or mixture of drugs, and in particular:
    • sections 155, 156, and 166 of the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act, as amended;
    • section 20(1) of Ontario Regulation 264/16, as amended;
    • section 54(1) of Ontario Regulation 58/11, as amended;
    • sections 5, 6, 15(1), 17(2), and/or 23(1) of the Ontario Drug Benefit Act, as amended; and/or
    • sections 18, 19, 27, and/or 29(1) of Ontario Regulation 201/96, as amended;
  • Engaged in conduct or performed an act relevant to the practice of pharmacy that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional.

Referral 2

The Panel found that Ms. Lalji, while engaged in the practice of pharmacy as director, shareholder, owner, Designated Manager, and/or dispensing pharmacist, committed professional misconduct in that she:

  • Submitted (or permitted, consented to or approved, expressly or by implication, the submissions of) charges for drugs and/or products that were never dispensed and/or that were not authorized for one or more of certain identified prescriptions;
  • Failed to keep records as required respecting her patients and/or practice with respect to one or more of certain identified prescriptions;
  • Altered and/or falsified records respecting her patients and/or practice with respect to one or more of certain identified prescriptions; and/or
  • Renewed patient prescriptions in a manner that contravened the requirements of O. Reg 202/94 to the Pharmacy Act, 1991, as amended, with respect to one or more of certain identified prescriptions.

In particular, the Panel found that she:

  • Failed to maintain a standard of practice of the profession;
  • Failed to keep records as required respecting her patients and/or practice;
  • Falsified a record relating to her practice and/or a person’s health record;
  • Signed or issued, in her professional capacity, a document that she knew and/or ought to have known contained a false or misleading statement;
  • Submitted an account or charge for services or products that she knew and/or ought to have known was false or misleading;
  • Contravened the Pharmacy Act, 1991, the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act, the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, and/or the regulations under those Acts, and, in particular:
    • section 4 of the Pharmacy Act, 1991, as amended, and/or
    • sections 36, 37, and/or 38 of O Reg 202/94 to the Pharmacy Act, 1991, as amended;
  • Engaged in conduct or performed an act relevant to the practice of pharmacy that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable and/or unprofessional.

The Panel imposed an Order, as follows:

1. A reprimand;

2. Directing the Registrar to suspend the Member’s certificate of registration for a period of 18 months. The suspension shall commence on April 22, 2021 and shall continue without interruption until October 22, 2022, inclusive;

3. Directing the Registrar to impose specified terms, conditions or limitations on the Member’s certificate of registration, including:

a. The Member must successfully complete, with an unconditional pass, at her own expense and within 12 months of the date of this Order, the ProBE Program on professional/problem-based ethics for health care professionals offered by the Centre for Personalized Education for Physicians;

b. The Member shall be prohibited from acting as a Designated Manager in any pharmacy for a minimum of five (5) years from the date of this Order and continuing thereafter until the date on which the College is notified that the Member has successfully completed a mentorship program regarding the role and responsibilities of a Designated Manager. The mentorship program shall include the following terms:

i. The Member shall retain, at her own expense, a mentor acceptable to the College;

ii. The Member shall meet at least five (5) times with the mentor, for the purpose of reviewing the Member’s practice with respect to the role and responsibilities of a Designated Manager;

iii. To this end, the Member shall provide the mentor with the following documents related to this proceeding:

a) copies of the Notices of Hearing;
b) a copy of the Agreed Statement of Facts;
c) a copy of this Joint Submission on Order; and
d) a Copy of the Decision and Reasons of the Discipline Panel.

iv. The Member shall develop a learning plan with the mentor to comprehensively address the role and responsibilities of a Designated Manager. The learning plan shall include, but is not limited to, successful completion by the Member of the College’s Designated Manager e-Learning Module and its associated Certificate of Completion;

v. The Member shall demonstrate to the mentor that she has successfully achieved all of the goals of the learning plan; and

vi. The Member shall require the mentor to report the results of the Mentorship Program to the College. Such report shall include, but is not limited to:

a) the Member’s Certificate of Completion of the College’s Designated Manager e-Learning Module;
b) the learning plan; and
c) the mentor’s assessment of the Member’s success in meeting the goals of the learning plan.

c. For a period of five (5) years from the date of this Order, the Member shall be prohibited from having any proprietary interest in a pharmacy;

d. For a period of five (5) years from the date of this Order, the Member shall be prohibited from receiving any remuneration for her work as a pharmacist, or related in any way to the operation of a pharmacy, other than remuneration based on hourly or weekly rates or salary.

4. Costs to the College in the amount of $25,000.

In its reprimand, the Panel noted that the volume of unsubstantiated claims over a prolonged period of many months, which amounted to almost $500,000, is an example of the Member’s disregard for the trust that has been placed on her by the public and the profession.

In addition, she failed to maintain the standards of practice of the profession, falsified pharmacy records, and failed as Designated Manager to participate in the day to day management of the three pharmacies she owned. These actions are completely unacceptable.

The practice of pharmacy is a privilege and it comes with significant obligations to the public, the profession and oneself.

The severity of the Order is deserved. The Panel expressed its view that it trusts the Member will take this opportunity to reflect on her actions and complete the required remediation. In doing so, the Panel expects that she will change the way she practices and that she will not again appear before a panel of the Discipline Committee.


Rana Rizk (OCP #619875)

At a hearing on April 28, 2021, a Panel of the Discipline Committee made findings of professional misconduct against Rana Rizk with respect to two referrals from the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee, as follows:

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Referral 1

The Panel found that Ms. Rizk, while engaged in the practice of pharmacy as Designated Manager and/or dispensing pharmacist, committed professional misconduct in that she:

  • Submitted (or permitted, consented to, or approved, expressly or by implication, the submissions of) claims with excessive markups for one or more of certain identified drugs and/or products from in or about November 1, 2016 to in or about April 30, 2018;
  • Submitted (or permitted, consented to, or approved, expressly or by implication, the submissions of) claims to multiple plans where one or more of those plans was not obligated to pay the claim (or the full amount of the claim) for one or more of certain identified drugs and/or products from in or about November 1, 2016 to in or about April 30, 2018; and/or
  • Submitted (or permitted, consented to or approved, expressly or by implication, the submissions of) claims for dispensing fees for compliance packages at more frequent intervals than the compliance packages were being dispensed for one or more patients from in or about May 1, 2018 to in or about April 24, 2019.

In particular, the Panel found that she:

  • Failed to maintain a standard of practice of the profession;
  • Failed to keep records as required respecting her patients and/or practice;
  • Falsified a record relating to her practice and/or a person’s health record;
  • Signed and/or issued, in her professional capacity, a document that she knew and/or ought to have known contained a false and/or misleading statement;
  • Submitted an account and/or charge for services and/or products that she knew and/or ought to have known was false and/or misleading;
  • Charged (or permitted, consented to or approved, expressly or by implication, charges of) a fee and/or amount that was excessive in relation to the service and/or product provided;
  • Engaged in conduct or performed an act relevant to the practice of pharmacy that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional.

Referral 2

The Panel found that Ms. Rizk, in response to an investigation by the Ontario College of Pharmacists (the “College”) into her conduct at Westboro Pharmasave in Ottawa, Ontario, committed professional misconduct in that she:

  • Provided falsified employment records and/or other pharmacy records to the College;
  • Provided false and/or misleading information to the College in written submissions, emails, and/or other correspondence; and/or
  • Refused to provide relevant documents to College investigators upon request.

In particular, the Panel found that she:

  • Contravened the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, as amended, and in particular:
    • Subsections 76(3) and 76(3.1) of the Health Professions Procedural Code to the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991;
  • Engaged in conduct or performed an act relevant to the practice of pharmacy that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional.

The Panel imposed an Order, as follows:

1. A reprimand;

2. Directing the Registrar to suspend the Member’s certificate of registration for a period of 12 months with one month to be remitted on the condition that the Member completes the remedial training specified in subparagraph 3(a) within 12 months of the date of the Order. The suspension shall commence on April 28, 2021 and shall continue without interruption until March 27, 2022, inclusive. If the remitted portion of the suspension is required to be served by the Member because she fails to complete the remedial requirement specified in subparagraph 3(a), that portion of the suspension shall commence on April 29, 2022 and continue until May 28, 2022, inclusive;

3. Directing the Registrar to impose specified terms, conditions or limitations on the Member’s certificate of registration, including:

a. The Member must successfully complete, with an unconditional pass, at her own expense and within 12 months of the date of this Order, the ProBE Program on professional/problem-based ethics for health care professionals offered by the Centre for Personalized Education for Physicians;

b. For a period of three (3) years from the date of this Order, the Member shall be prohibited from having any proprietary interest in a pharmacy of any kind and/or receiving remuneration for her work as a pharmacist other than remuneration on an hourly or weekly basis;

c. For a period of three (3) years from the date of this Order, the Member shall be prohibited from acting as a Designated Manager in any pharmacy;

d. For a period of three (3) years from the date of this Order, the Member shall be required to notify the College in writing of the names(s), address(s) and telephone numbers(s) of all employer(s) within fourteen (14) days of commencing employment in a pharmacy;

e. For a period of three (3) years from the date of this Order, the Member shall provide her pharmacy employer with a copy of the Discipline Committee Panel’s decision in this matter and its Order; and

f. For a period of three (3) years from the date of this Order, the Member shall only engage in the practice of pharmacy for an employer who agrees to write to the College within fourteen (14) days of the Member commencing employment, confirming that it has received a copy of the required documents identified in subparagraph 3(e), and confirming the nature of the Member’s remuneration;

4. Costs to the College in the amount of $10,000.

In its reprimand, the Panel noted that Ms. Rizk is a member of the noble profession of pharmacy, a profession with the duty of serving and protecting the public interest. Pharmacists are held in high regard for their role in providing healthcare to their patients. By her actions, Ms. Rizk damaged the reputation of the profession, as well as her own reputation.

The Panel indicated that it was particularly concerned because Ms. Rizk’s misconduct included obstructing a College investigator by providing false records, and refusing to provide relevant documents for the investigation.

The Panel relayed its expectation that Ms. Rizk will learn from this shameful experience, and that she will take this opportunity to change her ways by seriously undertaking the rehabilitation measures in the Order.

The Panel indicated its hope that Ms. Rizk will never again have to appear before this Discipline Committee.


Mona Bannis (OCP #90557)

At a hearing on May 18, 2021, a Panel of the Discipline Committee made findings of professional misconduct against Mona Bannis as dispensing pharmacist and/or Designated Manager at ADV-CARE Pharmacy in Markham, Ontario, and/or as sole director and shareholder of the corporate owner of ADV-CARE Pharmacy, committed professional misconduct with respect to over 25,000 orders filled for prescription drugs for patients in the U.S. authorized by physicians licenced in the U.S. but not in Canada, in or about January 2012-June 2017, in that she:

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  • Filled without valid authorization by a physician licensed in Canada or otherwise;
  • Filled on the basis of co-signed or rewritten prescriptions issued by physicians licensed in Canada contrary to the OCP policy, Prescription Out of Country, dated January-February 2003; and/or
  • Filled contrary to the OCP policy, Operating Internet Sites, dated June 2001, in relation to:
    • dispensing prescription drugs without valid authorization;
    • failing to confirm the authenticity of the orders for prescription drugs.

In particular, it is alleged that she:

  • Failed to maintain a standard of practice of the profession;
  • Contravened the Pharmacy Act, the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act, the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 or the regulations under those Acts, and in particular, sections 155 and/or 156 of the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H-4, as amended;
  • Contravened, while engaged in the practice of pharmacy, a federal or provincial law or municipal by-law with respect to the distribution, sale or dispensing of any drug or mixture of drugs, and in particular, section C.01.041 of the Food and Drug Regulations, C.R.C., c. 870, as amended;
  • Engaged in conduct or performed an act relevant to the practice of pharmacy that, having regard to all circumstances, would be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional.

The Panel imposed an Order, as follows:

1. A reprimand;

2. Directing the Registrar to impose the following specified terms, conditions or limitations on the Member’s certificate of registration, and in particular:

a. requiring the Member to complete successfully, at her own expense and within twelve (12) months of the date of this Order, the ProBE Program on Professional/Problem Based Ethics for Healthcare Professionals, with an unconditional pass;

b. restricting the Member from being the Designated Manager at any pharmacy for four (4) years from the date of this Order; and

c. requiring the Member’s practice, and the operation of any pharmacy in which she has a proprietary interest, to be subject to Compliance Audit Reviews (CARs) by the College. The following terms apply to the CARs:

i. the College will be entitled to conduct any CAR for a period of four (4) years from the date of this Order (“CARs Period”);

ii. if the Member ceases to have both a place of practice and a proprietary interest in any pharmacy at any time within the four (4) years specified in subparagraph i above, such that the College is unable to conduct any CARs, then the CARs Period shall be paused and shall resume on the date on which the Member obtains a place of practice and/or a proprietary interest in a pharmacy, and in such circumstances:

1. the Member shall notify the College, in writing, if she no longer has a place of practice and a proprietary interest in a pharmacy at any point(s) during any times that the CARs Period remains active; and

2. if the CARs Period is paused at any time(s), the Member shall notify the College, in writing, when she obtains a place of practice and/or a proprietary interest in a pharmacy, at which point the CARs Period shall resume and shall continue until a total period of four (4) years has been achieved;

iii. the CARs will be conducted by means of attendances by a representative of the College at the Member’s place of practice and/or at any pharmacy in which she holds a proprietary interest, at such times as the College may determine;

iv. during any CAR, the College representative will be entitled to review and examine the Member’s practice, or the practice and operation of any pharmacy in which the Member holds a proprietary interest, with respect to any and all prescriptions dispensed to patients who are residing out of country and compliance with the College’s policy Prescriptions – Out of Country (as amended, updated, and/or replaced with a policy addressing the same underlying subject matter);

v. the CARs are in addition to any routine inspections conducted by the College pursuant to the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.4., s. 148, and are not a substitute for such inspections;

vi. the Member shall fully cooperate with the College representative during the CARs; and

vii. the Member shall pay to the College in respect of such CAR the amount of $1,000.00 per CAR, immediately after each CAR is completed, with the total amount to be paid by the Member not to exceed $6,000, regardless of the number of CARs and/or attendances conducted by the College.

3. Directing the Registrar to suspend the Member’s certificate of registration for a period of twelve (12) months, with one (1) month of the suspension to be remitted on condition that the Member complete the remedial training specified in sub-paragraph 2(a) above. The suspension shall commence on May 19, 2021 and continue without interruption until April 18, 2022, inclusive. If the remitted portion of the suspension has to be served because the Member fails to complete the remedial training program as specified in paragraph 2(a) above, the further suspension shall commence on May 19, 2022 and continue without interruption until June 18, 2022, inclusive, unless the time for completing the remedial steps in paragraph 2(a) above is extended by the Registrar, in which case, the date the remitted portion of the suspension shall commence, if required, shall be adjusted accordingly.

4. Costs to the College in the amount of $107,390.07.

In its reprimand, the Panel noted that pharmacy is a noble profession. Pharmacists are expected to act ethically and with integrity. The Panel expressed its view that Ms. Bannis failed to do so.

The Panel pointed out that Ms. Bannis was an experienced and longstanding member of this College when she engaged in her shameful misconduct. She was the pharmacy’s Designated Manager, director, and shareholder when she participated in an internet business that resulted in over 25,000 orders billed for prescriptions that contravened legal and ethical requirements.

She benefited personally and financially from her misconduct and engaged in these practices for many years.

The Panel observed that practising pharmacy is a privilege that must be earned. It is a privilege granted only to those who possess the knowledge, skill, and judgment to practice safely, professionally, and ethically. The Panel expressed its view that, unfortunately, Ms. Bannis’ behaviour casts serious doubt on her moral fitness to practice this profession.

The Panel advised Ms. Bannis that she must change her ways and learn from this shameful experience.


Soutsada Vongsaly (OCP #603942)

At a hearing on May 28, 2021, a Panel of the Discipline Committee made findings of professional misconduct against Soutsada Vongsaly, as a pharmacy technician, in that she knowingly entered a fraudulent narcotics prescription into the Pharmacy’s computer system on or about April 7, 2020.

In particular, the Panel found that she:

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  • Failed to maintain a standard of practice of the profession;
  • Contravened the Act, the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act, the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, the Narcotics Safety and Awareness Act, 2010, the Drug Interchangeability and Dispensing Fee Act or the Ontario Drug Benefit Act or the regulations under those Acts, and in particular, paragraph 11 (3) of the Narcotics Safety and Awareness Act, 2010;
  • Knowingly permitted the premises in which a pharmacy is located to be used for unlawful purposes, where such purposes may reasonably be regarded by members as likely to demean the integrity or dignity of the profession or bring the profession into disrepute;
  • Permitted, counselled or assisted, whether expressly or by implication, the commission of an offence against any Act relating to the practice of pharmacy or the sale of drugs, and in particular, paragraph 11 (3) of the Narcotics Safety and Awareness Act, 2010;
  • Engaged in conduct or performed an act relevant to the practice of pharmacy that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as dishonourable and unprofessional;
  • Engaged in conduct that is unbecoming of a member.

The Panel imposed an Order, as follows:

1. A reprimand;

2. Directing the Registrar to impose specified terms, conditions or limitations on the Member’s certificate of registration requiring that:

a. the Member successfully complete, within six (6) months of the date of the order, a course with a professional ethics consultant chosen by the College, to be designed by the consultant, regarding the issues raised by the facts and findings of professional misconduct in this case, and the following terms shall apply to the course:

i. the number of sessions shall be at the discretion of the consultant, but shall be a minimum of two (2) and a maximum of three (3) meetings;

ii. the manner of attendance at the session(s) (e.g. in person, via Skype, etc.) is a matter to be discussed in advance between the Member and the consultant, but shall ultimately be at the discretion of the consultant;

iii. the Member shall be responsible for the cost of the course;

iv. the Member shall provide to the consultant the following documents, in advance of the course, to facilitate the design of the course:

          • the Notice of Hearing;
          • the Agreed Statement of Facts;
          • this Joint Submission on Order; and
          • the Panel’s Decision and Reasons, if and when available;

v. successful completion of the course will include completion of an essay, acceptable to the Registrar, addressing the issues raised in this matter; and

vi. the Member will request a report from the consultant confirming that the Member has completed the course to the satisfaction of the consultant, and the Member will provide a copy of the report to the College within six (6) months of the date of this Order.

b. the Member shall provide notification to all her employers in pharmacy regarding the disposition of this discipline proceeding, for a period of three (3) years from the date of this Order, on the following terms:

i. the Member shall notify the College in writing of the name, address, and telephone number of any current or future employer, within fourteen (14) days of resuming any current employment or commencing any future employment in pharmacy;

ii. the Member shall provide her employer(s) in pharmacy with a copy of the Agreed Statement of Facts and this Joint Submission on Order, or the Decision and Reasons of the Discipline Committee in this matter, including this Order (when available), prior to resuming any current employment or commencing any future employment in pharmacy; and

iii. the Member shall only engage in the practice of pharmacy for an employer who agrees to advise the College in writing, within fourteen (14) days of the Member resuming any current employment or commencing any new employment with the employer, confirming that the Designated Manager of the employer’s pharmacy has received a copy of the documents set out in paragraph 2(b)(ii) above.

3. Directing the Registrar to suspend the Member’s Certificate of Registration for a period of five (5) months, with one (1) month of the suspension to be remitted on condition the Member complete the remedial training program specified in paragraph 2, above. The Suspension shall commence on May 28, 2021, and continue without interruption until September 27, 2021, inclusive. If the remitted portion of the suspension has to be served, the further suspension shall commence on November 29, 2021, and continue without interruption until December 28, 2021, inclusive, unless the time for completing the remedial steps in paragraph 2, above, is extended by the Registrar, in which case, the date the suspension shall commence, if required, shall be adjusted accordingly.

4. Costs to the College in the amount of $10,000.00.

In its reprimand, the Panel noted that the findings made against Ms. Vongsaly involve acts of serious professional misconduct.

The Panel indicated that pharmacy is a self-regulated profession, the practice of which is a privilege involving significant obligations to the public, the profession, and oneself. Through her actions, Ms. Vongsaly failed in her duties as a pharmacy technician. As an experienced pharmacy technician, she should have known that what she was doing was wrong.

The Panel noted that the suspension of Ms. Vongsaly’s Certificate of Registration is essential to protect the public and deter her from engaging in misconduct in the future. The remediation ordered is intended to provide Ms. Vongsaly with an opportunity to rehabilitate her practice.

The Panel pointed out that Ms. Vongsaly’s admission to the allegations against her demonstrates remorse and is a first step towards her rehabilitation. The Panel relayed its expectation that Ms. Vongsaly will learn from this experience, and that she will never again appear before a panel of the Discipline Committee.


The full text of these decisions will be available at www.canlii.org.

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