Discipline Decisions (Winter 2020)


John Hopkins (OCP #24368)

At a hearing on October 1, 2019, a Panel of the Discipline Committee made findings of professional misconduct against John Hopkins in that he:

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  • Failed to complete by February 13, 2018 the specified continuing education or remediation program ordered by a panel of the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee on or about February 13, 2017.

In particular the Panel found that he:

  • Failed to maintain a standard of practice of the profession;
  • Failed to comply with an order of a Committee or a panel of a Committee of the College; and
  • 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.

Following a further day of hearing on October 2, 2019, the Panel imposed an Order, as follows:

  1. A reprimand;
  2. Directing the Registrar to revoke the Certificate of Registration issued to John Hopkins; and
  3. Costs to the College in the amount of $28,667.32.

In its reprimand, the Panel noted that Mr. Hopkins was a member of the honourable profession of pharmacy, and that integrity, trust, and professional conduct are the core elements of the practice of pharmacy. Membership in the profession of pharmacy is a privilege that carries with it significant obligations to the public, the profession and to oneself.

The Panel pointed out that pharmacy is a self-regulated profession and as such it bears the responsibility to ensure that it maintains the trust of its members and the public it serves.

The Panel expressed its view that Mr. Hopkins conduct showed persistent disregard for the authority of the College and called into question the ability of the College to regulate its members. The Panel observed that his outright refusal to respect the authority of the regulator left this Panel with no option other than revocation of his Certificate of Registration, which is the most severe order available to the Panel.

The Panel voiced its opinion that Mr. Hopkins is unsuitable for membership in the profession of pharmacy.


Jason Newman (OCP #214873)

At a hearing on November 1, 2019, a Panel of the Discipline Committee made findings of professional misconduct against Jason Newman with respect to the following:

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  • He dispensed naloxone kits or caused naloxone kits to be dispensed to patients without regard to individual need and/or clinical appropriateness;
  • He improperly directed or permitted non-pharmacist employees or agents to dispense naloxone kits to patients in the community; and
  • He failed to carry out or abide by an undertaking given to the College on February 21, 2018 in which he undertook to immediately cease the dispensing and/or sale of naloxone or facilitating the dispensing and/or sale of naloxone to persons except in accordance with the College’s guidance document, “Dispensing or Selling Naloxone,” and to ensure that appropriate assessment and training are provided by a pharmacist to persons dispensed and/or sold naloxone.

In particular, the Panel found that the Member:

  • Failed to maintain a standard of practice of the profession;
  • Failed to provide an appropriate level of supervision to a person or persons whom he was professionally obligated to supervise: namely, employees or agents of the Delaware Pharmacy dispensing naloxone kits in the community;
  • Failed to carry out or abide by an undertaking given to the College; and
  • 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 unprofessional.

The Panel imposed an Order, 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: that the Member must successfully complete, at his own expense, the ProBE course on Professional, Problem-Based Ethics, with an unconditional pass, within 12 months of the date of this Order;
  3. That the Registrar is directed to suspend the Member’s Certificate of Registration for a period of two months, with one month of the suspension to be remitted on condition that the Member complete the remedial training as specified in paragraph 2. The suspension shall commence on November 1, 2019 and shall continue until November 30, 2019, 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 paragraph 2, that portion of the suspension shall commence on December 1, 2020, and shall continue until December 31, 2020, inclusive, unless the time for completing the remedial training in paragraph 2, above 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 $7,500.

In its reprimand, the Panel noted that integrity and trust are paramount to the profession of pharmacy, as pharmacists are held in high regard for their role in the provision of healthcare in Ontario. The Panel observed that Member’s conduct tarnished the reputation of the profession.

The Panel pointed out that when the Member breached the terms of the undertaking, he demonstrated a disregard for the College’s responsibility to govern its members in the public’s best interest. The Panel noted that practicing outside of regulations, no matter the reason, undermines the ability of the profession to self-regulate and jeopardizes public trust in the profession.

The Panel observed that the Ontario Naloxone Program is an important harm reduction strategy for those at risk of an opioid overdose. The Panel expressed its view that the Member’s conduct minimised the important role that pharmacists play in addressing the opioid epidemic.

The Panel noted that this was the Member’s first appearance before a Panel of the Discipline Committee, and expressed its trust that this will be his last.


Xiao Ning (Sean) Xu (OCP #609448)

At a hearing on November 4, 2019, a Panel of the Discipline Committee made findings of professional misconduct against Xiao Ning (Sean) Xu with respect to the following incidents:

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  • Between about January 1, 2015 and November 30, 2016, he submitted (or permitted, consented to or approved, expressly or impliedly, the submission of) charges for drugs and/or products that were not dispensed, with respect to certain identified drugs and/or products;
  • Between about January 1, 2015 and November 30, 2016, he created (or permitted, consented to or approved, expressly or impliedly, the creation of) false and/or misleading pharmacy records documenting the dispensing of drugs and/or products that were not dispensed, with respect to certain identified drugs and/or products;
  • Between about January 1, 2015 and November 30, 2016, he failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that he and/or the Pharmacy complied with all legal requirements, including (without limitation) legal requirements relating to record keeping, documentation, and billing the Ontario Drug Benefit Program, with respect to certain identified transactions;
  • Between about January 1, 2015 and November 30, 2016, he sold by retail (or permitted, consented to or approved, expressly or impliedly, the sale by retail of) prescription drugs and/or products without valid prescriptions, with respect to certain identified transactions;
  • Between about January 1, 2015 and November 30, 2016, he failed to maintain the records required to be maintained by s. 29 of O. Reg. 201/96, made under the Ontario Drug Benefit Act, RSO 1990, c O.10, with respect to certain identified transactions;
  • Between about January 1, 2015 and November 30, 2016, he submitted (or permitted, consented to or approved, expressly or impliedly, the submission of) erroneous, invalid, and/or otherwise improper charges to the Ontario Drug Benefit Program for MedsChecks, with respect to certain identified charges.

In particular, the Panel found that he:

  • Failed to maintain a standard of practice of the profession;
  • Failed to keep records as required;
  • Falsified a record relating to his practice;
  • Signed or issued in his professional capacity a document that he knew contained a false or misleading statement;
  • Submitted an account or charge for services that he knew 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:
    • s. 155 of the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act;
  • 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, 6, and/or 15(1)(b) of the Ontario Drug Benefits Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.10, as amended, and/or s. 29 of Ontario Regulation 201/96 made thereunder;
    • s. C.01.041 of the Food and Drug Regulations, CRC, c 870, made under the Food and Drugs Act, RSC 1985, c F-27;
  • Permitted, consented to or approved, either expressly or by implication, the commission of an offence against an Act relating to the practice of pharmacy or to the sale of drugs by a corporation of which he was a director, and in particular:
    • ss. 5, 6, and/or 15(1)(b) of the Ontario Drug Benefits Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.10, as amended;
    • s. C.01.041 of the Food and Drug Regulations, CRC, c 870, made under the Food and Drugs Act, RSC 1985, c F-27, and/or;
    • s. 155 of the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act;
  • 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 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 twelve (12) months of the date of this Order, the Professional/Problem Based Ethics offered by the Center for Personalized Education for Professionals; and,

(b) that for a period of three years from the date of this Order, the Member shall be prohibited from

i. having any proprietary interest in a pharmacy as a sole proprietor or partner, or director or shareholder in a corporation that owns a pharmacy (excepting only that he may be permitted to own shares in a publicly traded corporation that has an interest in a pharmacy), or in any other capacity;

ii. 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; and

iii. acting as a Designated Manager in any pharmacy; and

(c) that for a period of three years from the date of this Order, the Member shall

i. notify the College in writing of any employment in a pharmacy, which notification shall include the name and address of the employer and the date on which the Member began or is to begin employment, within fourteen (14) days of commencing such employment;

ii. provide to any pharmacy employer a copy of:

1. the Notice of Hearing and the Order in this matter; or

2. the panel’s Reasons for Decision in this matter, when available;

iii. only work for an employer in a pharmacy who provides confirmation in writing from the Designated Manager of the pharmacy to the College, within fourteen (14) days of the Member commencing employment at the pharmacy, that the Designated Manager received and reviewed a copy of the documents described in paragraph 2(c)(ii) before the Member commenced employment, and confirming the nature of the Member’s remuneration.

3. That the Registrar suspend the Member’s Certificate of Registration for a period of thirteen (13) months, with one (1) month of the suspension to be remitted on condition that the Member complete the remedial training as specified in subparagraph 2(a). The suspension shall commence on November 4, 2019, and shall continue until November 3, 2020, inclusive. If the remitted portion of the suspension is required to be served by the Member because he fails to complete the remedial requirement specified in subparagraph 2(a), that portion of the suspension shall commence on November 4, 2020, and shall continue until December 4, 2020, inclusive. If the time for completing the remedial steps in subparagraph 2(a) 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 $10,000.

In its reprimand, the Panel noted that integrity and trust are paramount to the profession of pharmacy, and that the profession is held in high regard for the role pharmacists play in the provision of healthcare in Ontario.

This Panel expressed its extreme disappointment with the Member’s failure to maintain the high standards of practice expected of the profession. The Panel observed that he violated the trust that the public holds in this profession.

The Panel indicated its hope that the Member does not appear again before the Discipline Committee.


Adewale Aderinto (OCP #606964)

At a hearing on November 25, 2019, a Panel of the Discipline Committee made findings of professional misconduct against Adewale Aderinto, as staff pharmacist and Designated Manager of the Erie Health and Wellness Pharmacy in Windsor, Ontario, and as sole director and shareholder of the corporation that owns and operates the Pharmacy, with respect to conduct in or about July-November 2018, in that he:

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  • Billed routinely for excessive dispensing fees at weekly intervals for blister pack medications actually dispensed at bi-weekly or monthly intervals, including dispensing fees charged for the medications dispensed to certain identified patients; and/or
  • Created false and/or misleading records routinely indicating blister pack medications were being dispensed at weekly intervals when the medications were actually being dispensed at bi-weekly or monthly intervals, including records for the medications dispensed to certain identified patients.

In particular, the Panel found that he

  • Failed to maintain a standard of practice of the profession
  • Falsified a record relating to his practice or a person’s health record
  • 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
  • Charged a fee or amount that was excessive in relation to the service or product provided
  • Contravened the Pharmacy Act, the Drug and Pharmacies Regulations Act, the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, the Narcotic 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, sections 4, 4.1 5, and/or 6 of the Ontario Drug Benefit Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.O.10, as amended, and/or sections 18, 20.2 and/or 27 of O.Reg. 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 dishonourable or 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 the Member to complete successfully, at his own expense, within twelve (12) months of the date of this Order:

(i) the ProBE Program on Professional/Problem Based Ethics for Healthcare Professionals, with an unconditional pass; and

(ii) the Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada Course on Medication Safety Considerations for Compliance Packaging.

(b) requiring the Member to complete successfully, within twelve (12) months from the date this Order, a mentorship with a mentor approved by the College, regarding the issues raised by the facts and findings of professional misconduct in this case, including the preparation, billing and recordkeeping in relation to blister packs, and the duty to create written policies and procedures regarding these matters and to ensure that they are adhered to within a pharmacy, on the following terms:

(i) the Member shall retain, at his own expense, a practice mentor acceptable to the College within three (3) months of the date of this Order;

(ii) the Member shall meet at least three (3) times with the practice mentor, and more times if the mentor determines that further meetings are necessary, at a place to be determined by the practice mentor, for the purpose of reviewing the Member’s practices with respect to preparation, billing and recordkeeping in relation to blister packs, and the duty to create written policies and procedures and to ensure that they are adhered to within a pharmacy, and any other issues raised by the facts and findings of professional misconduct in this case, and identifying areas in the Member’s practice with respect to these issues that require remediation. These meetings shall take place from time to time, at the discretion of the practice mentor, for a period of up to twelve (12) months from the date of this Order;

(iii) the Member shall provide the practice mentor with the following documents related to this proceeding:

        1. the Notice of Hearing;
        2. the Agreed Statement of Facts;
        3. the Joint Submission on Order; and/or
        4. the Panel’s Decision and Reasons, if and when available;

(iv) the Member shall develop with the practice mentor a learning plan to address the areas of the Member’s practice requiring remediation;

(v) the Member shall demonstrate to the practice mentor, in a manner directed by and acceptable to the practice mentor, that the Member has achieved success in meeting the goals established in the learning plan; and

(vi) the Member shall ensure that the practice mentor reports the results of the mentorship program in writing to the College, after its completion, which report shall be delivered no later than thirteen (13) months from the date of this Order.

3. Directing the Registrar to suspend the Member’s Certificate of Registration for a period of three (3) months, with one (1) month of the suspension to be remitted on condition the Member complete the remedial training programs as specified in paragraph 2 above. The suspension shall commence on December 1, 2019 and continue without interruption until January 31, 2020. If the remitted portion of the suspension has to be served because the Member fails to complete the remedial training programs as specified in paragraph 2 above, the further suspension shall commence on January 4, 2021 and continue without interruption until February 3, 2021, unless the time for completing the remedial steps in paragraph 2 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 $7,500.00.

In its reprimand, the Panel noted that pharmacy is a self-regulated profession, and that pharmacists bear the responsibility to ensure that the trust of College members and the public is maintained. The Panel observed that the practice of pharmacy is a privilege that carries with it significant obligations to the public, the profession, and to oneself.

The Panel noted that the Member failed in his responsibilities as a pharmacist and Designated Manager. The Panel pointed out that it is the Member’s responsibility to practice in accordance with the law and have policies and procedures in place that comply with the law.

The Panel expressed its trust this disciplinary process causes the Member to reflect on his practice and will motivate him to make positive changes, and its expectation that he will not appear again before a panel of the Discipline Committee.


Allen Kula (OCP #28479)

At a hearing on December 18, 2019, a Panel of the Discipline Committee made findings of professional misconduct against Allen Kula in that he:

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  • Sold drugs by retail to patients in the U.S. at premises other than an accredited pharmacy;
  • Sold by retail and/or dispensed prescription drugs to patients in the U.S. without a lawful and/or otherwise valid prescription; and/or
  • Contravened the OCP policies on Operating Internet Sites, dated June 2001; Internet Pharmacies, dated May 2012; and/or Prescriptions – Out of Country, dated January-February 2003.

In particular, the Panel found that he

  • 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, or the regulations under those Acts, and in particular, sections 139, 146, 147, 149, 155 and/or 158 of the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H-4, as amended;
  • Contravened, while engaged in the practice of pharmacy, any 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 C.01.041 and/or C.01.042 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 the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional.

Mr. Kula agreed to permanently resign as a member of the College, effective December 19, 2019, while a discipline hearing into the allegations of professional misconduct against him was pending before the Discipline Committee.

The Panel imposed an Order, which included:

  1. A reprimand
  2. Costs to the College in the amount of $10,000.00

In its reprimand, the Panel noted that it found Mr. Kula’s conduct reprehensible, and commented that he has again brought discredit to the noble profession of pharmacy.

The Panel indicated that, as result of his misconduct, Mr. Kula jeopardized the safety of the public, and brought disgrace to the pharmacy profession and to himself.

The Panel expressed its confidence that Mr. Kula’s decision to irrevocably surrender his certificate of registration will ensure the public is protected.

The full text of the Panel’s decision is available on http://www.canlii.org.


Murray Salomon (OCP #67393)

At a hearing on January 10, 2020, a Panel of the Discipline Committee made findings of professional misconduct against Murray Salomon in that he contravened terms, conditions or limitations imposed on his certificate of registration by a September 5, 2017 order of a panel of the Discipline Committee of the Ontario College of Pharmacists, and, in particular he failed to:

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  • meet at least five (5) times with a practice mentor, at a place to be determined by the practice mentor, for the purpose of reviewing his ethical and professional obligations in relation to consent, compliance with program claim requirements, maintaining accurate records, and any other issues raised by the facts and findings of professional misconduct in his September 5, 2017 disciplinary hearing, and identifying areas in his practice with respect to these issues that require remediation within 12 months of the September 5, 2017 Discipline Committee Order.
  • provide the practice mentor with the following documents related to his September 5, 2017 discipline proceeding:
    • the Notice of Hearing;
    • the Agreed Statement of Facts;
    • the Joint Submission on Order; and
    • the Panel’s Decision and Reasons, if and when available.

(a) develop with the practice mentor a learning plan to address the areas of the his practice requiring remediation.

(b) demonstrate to the practice mentor, in a manner directed by and acceptable to the practice mentor, that the he has achieved success in meeting the goals established in the learning plan.

(c) ensure that the practice mentor reports the result of the mentorship program to the Manager, Investigations and Resolutions at the College, after its completion, no later than twelve (12) months from the date of the September 5, 2017 Discipline Committee Order.

In particular, the Panel found that he

  • Contravened terms, conditions or limitations imposed on his certificate of registration
  • Failed to comply with a September 5, 2017 order of a panel of the Discipline Committee of the Ontario College of Pharmacists
  • 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

Mr. Salomon agreed to permanently resign as a member of the College, effective January 10, 2020, while a discipline hearing into the allegations of professional misconduct against him was pending before the Discipline Committee.

The Panel imposed an Order, as follows:

  1. A reprimand
  2. Costs to the College in the amount of $5,000.00.

In its reprimand, the Panel noted that the practice of pharmacy is a privilege that carries with it significant obligations to the public, the profession, and to oneself. Members of the College are expected to adhere to all regulations and standards of practice governing pharmacy. Compliance with an Order issued by the Discipline Committee is essential to protect the public and maintain confidence in the ability of the College to govern the profession.

The Panel pointed out that breaching an Order of the Discipline Committee is unacceptable and brings discredit to the profession of pharmacy.


Salam Abdul (OCP #217373)

At a hearing on January 20, 2020, a Panel of the Discipline Committee made findings of professional misconduct against Mr. Abdul with respect to the following incidents:

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  • On various occasions between June 6, 2012 and October 25, 2013 he returned to stock and/or again sold or dispensed drugs previously sold or dispensed and delivered, namely Risperdal Consta, in various strengths;
  • Between June 6, 2012 and October 25, 2013, he submitted false claims to ODB regarding units of Risperdal Consta, in various strengths, that were either not dispensed to patients, or were already the subject of previous claims that had been paid by ODB;
  • Between June 6, 2012 and October 25, 2013, he created false records of dispensing and/or billing transactions in relation to the false claims submitted to ODB;
  • In or about May 2014, he provided the College’s investigator with prescription breakdown reports that did not reflect the true number of prescriptions of Risperdal Consta claimed by the Pharmacy from ODB.

In particular, the Panel found that he:

  • Returned to stock and/or again sold or dispensed drugs previously sold or dispensed and delivered, namely Risperdal Consta, in various strengths;
  • Falsified records relating to his practice;
  • Issued, in his professional capacity, a document that he knew contained a false or misleading statement;
  • Submitted an account or charge for services that he knew was false or misleading;
  • Engaged in conduct relevant to the practice of pharmacy that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonable be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional.

The Panel imposed an Order, which included:

  1. A reprimand
  2. That the Registrar be directed to impose the following terms, conditions and limitations on the Member’s certificate of registration:

a. that the Member must successfully complete, within twelve (12) months of the date this Order becomes final, and at his own expense, the ProBE Program on Professional/Problem-Based Ethics for healthcare professionals offered by the Centre for Personalized Education for Physicians, and any related evaluations, with an unconditional pass;

b. for a period of five (5) years, commencing on the date this Order becomes final, the Member shall be prohibited from acting as a Designated Manager at any pharmacy;

c. for a period of five (5) years, commencing on the date this Order becomes final, the Member shall be prohibited from 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;

d. for a period of five (5) years, commencing on the date this Order becomes final, the Member shall be prohibited from having any proprietary interest in a pharmacy as sole proprietor or partner, or as shareholder in a corporation that owns a pharmacy, or in any other capacity; and

f. for a period of five (5) years, commencing on the date this Order becomes final, the Member shall be prohibited from acting as a director of a corporation that owns a pharmacy;

i. for a period of five (5) years, commencing on the date this Order becomes final:

ii. the Member shall notify the College in writing of any employment in a pharmacy, which notification shall include the name and address of the employer and the date on which he began or is to begin employment, within seven (7) days of commencing such employment;

the Member shall only work for an employer in a pharmacy who provides confirmation in writing from the Designated Manager of the pharmacy to the College, within seven (7) days of the Member commencing employment at the pharmacy, that the Designated Manager received and reviewed a copy of the Agreed Statement of Facts and this Joint Submission on Order, or the panel’s decision and reasons (when available), before he commenced employment;

iii. the terms in clauses 2.f.i. and ii. shall apply even if the Member’s employment in the pharmacy is as a relief pharmacist;

3. That the Registrar be directed to suspend the Member’s Certificate of Registration for a period of eighteen (18) months, with one (1) month of the suspension to be remitted on the condition that the Member completes the remedial requirements specified in subparagraph 2.a, above. The suspension shall commence on January 21, 2020, and run until May 20, 2021, inclusive. If the remitted portion of the suspension is required to be served by the Member because he fails to complete the remedial training specified in subparagraph 2.a, above, the remainder of the suspension shall commence on May 21, 2021, and continue until June 20, 2021, inclusive. If the time for completing the remedial steps in subparagraph 2.a, 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 $10,000.00.

In its reprimand, the Panel noted that pharmacy is a highly respected profession, to which integrity and trust are paramount. Pharmacists provide care to the public and in return are held in high regard for the role they play.

This Panel expressed its extreme disappointment in the Member’s conduct and related that it was appalled by the facts presented in this case. The Panel pointed out that the Member defrauded the people of Ontario, which has a negative impact on health care funding. His actions undermined the public’s confidence in the profession and endanger its trusted reputation. He knowingly falsified records and re-dispensed medications for his own profit, thus putting a vulnerable patient population at risk.

The Panel expressed its expectation that the Member will take this opportunity to reflect on his actions and complete the required remediation. In so doing, the Panel anticipated that the Member will change the way he practices, and that he will not appear again in front of a panel of the Discipline Committee.


Daniel Hanna (OCP #210352)

At a hearing on January 22, 2020, a Panel of the Discipline Committee made findings of professional misconduct against Mr. Hanna with respect to:

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  • False or unsubstantiated claims submitted to the Ontario Drug Benefit Program (ODB) from the Pharmacy totalling approximately $71,000 for 11 identified drug and other health products, from in or around March of 2015 to in or around February of 2017;
  • Improper claims for prescriptions submitted to the ODB from the Pharmacy totalling approximately $62,000, for the period beginning in or around March of 2015 to in or around February of 2017, in relation to:
    • Claims for patients who were deceased, for 26 identified prescriptions;
    • Claims for allergy products for which the required forms were not obtained or retained, for 2 identified prescriptions;
    • Claims for products in package sizes not listed in the ODB Formulary, for 3 identified prescriptions;
    • Claims for extemporaneous mixtures where the amount charged exceeded the amount allowed, for 23 identified prescriptions;
    • Claims for MedsCheck reviews which did not meet the criteria for reimbursement, in relation to 120 identified reviews;
    • Claims for “no substitution” products for patients for whom the required forms were not obtained, for 372 identified prescriptions;
    • Claims for Limited Use Products that did not meet the ODB’s criteria for reimbursement, for 44 identified prescriptions; and/or
    • Claims for products different from those dispensed, including gabapentin, Ensure Plus and Cymbalta, for identified quantities and amounts.

In particular, the Panel found that he

  • Failed to maintain a standard of the profession
  • 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, sections 5, 6 and 15 of the Ontario Drug Benefit Act
  • Permitted, consented to, or approved, either expressly or by implication, the commission of an offence against an Act relating to the practice of pharmacy or to the sale of drugs by a corporation of which he was a director
  • Failed to keep records as required respecting his patients
  • Submitted an account or charge for services that he knew was false or misleading
  • Falsified a record relating to his practice
  • Signed or issued, in his professional capacity, a document he knew contained a false or misleading statement
  • Engaged in conduct or preformed 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

Mr. Hanna agreed to permanently resign as a member of the College, effective January 22, 2020, while a discipline hearing into the allegations of professional misconduct against him was pending before the Discipline Committee.

The Panel imposed an Order which included as follows:

  1. A reprimand
  2. Costs to the College in the amount of $10,000.00

In its reprimand, the Panel observed that the profession of pharmacy is held in high regard by the public for the role that pharmacists play in the provision of healthcare in Ontario. Integrity and trust are paramount to the profession.

The Panel explained that it considered the seriousness of Mr. Hanna’s misconduct, and was extremely disappointed with his failure to maintain the standards of practice expected by the profession and the public.

The Panel pointed out that Mr. Hanna misused public funds and violated the trust that the public holds in this profession. The Panel expressed its disapproval of Mr. Hanna’s conduct.


Maged Ghobrial (OCP #613350)

At a hearing on January 23, 2020, a Panel of the Discipline Committee made findings of professional misconduct against Maged Ghobrial in that he submitted claims to [Claims Adjudicator] that included markups on the unit drug cost that were excessive and unreasonable, in or about February 2017-February 2018.

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In particular, the Panel found that he

  • Failed to maintain a standard of practice of the profession;
  • Charged 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 dishonourable and unprofessional.

The Panel imposed an Order which included 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, requiring the Member to complete successfully, at his 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;
  3. Directing the Registrar to suspend the Member’s Certificate of Registration for a period of three (3) months, with one (1) month of the suspension to be remitted on condition the Member complete the remedial training programs as specified in paragraph 2 above. The suspension shall commence on January 24, 2020 and continue without interruption until March 23, 2020. If the remitted portion of the suspension has to be served because the Member fails to complete the remedial training programs as specified in paragraph 2 above, the further suspension shall commence on January 24, 2021 and continue without interruption until February 23, 2021, unless the time for completing the remedial steps in paragraph 2 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 $10,000.00.

In its reprimand, the Panel noted that pharmacists bear the responsibility to ensure that the trust of members and the public is maintained. The practice of pharmacy is a privilege that carries with it significant obligations to the public, the profession, and oneself.

The Panel pointed out that it is Mr. Ghobrial’s responsibility to practice in accordance with the code of ethics and the standards of practice. In this regard, he failed to maintain the standards of practice of the profession and he engaged in inappropriate billing practices.

The Panel explained that Mr. Ghobrial’s conduct was unprofessional and dishonourable, and expressed its hope that the disciplinary process will cause him to self reflect and improve his personal practice.


Nisha Groodoyal (OCP #606825)

At a hearing on January 31, 2020, a Panel of the Discipline Committee made findings of professional misconduct against Nisha Groodoyal with respect to the following:

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  • Between January 2013 and April 2015, she dispensed a drug other than under the supervision or direction of a pharmacist, on one or more occasions.

In particular, the Panel found that she:

  • Contravened a term, condition or limitation imposed on her certificate of registration;
  • Failed to maintain the standards of the profession;
  • Contravened the Pharmacy Act, 1991, the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act, the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 or the regulations under those Acts, as follows:
    • s. 18 of Ontario Regulation 202/94 under the Pharmacy Act, 1991;
  • Engaged in conduct relevant to the practice of pharmacy that, having regard to all of the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members of the profession as unprofessional.

The Panel imposed an Order which included as follows:

  1. A reprimand;
  2. That the Registrar be directed to impose the following conditions and limitation on the Member’s certificate of registration:

a. that the Member successfully complete, within twelve (12) months of the date of this order, a course with Gail E. Siskind Consulting Services, or another professional ethics consultant acceptable to the College, to be 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;

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. successful completion of the course will include completion of an essay, acceptable to the Registrar, addressing the objectives of professional regulation and the importance to the public interest of complying with a practitioner’s regulatory obligations, including the professional conduct issues raised by this case;

iv. the essay shall be at least 1000 words in length. The Member shall be responsible for the cost of review by the consultant to assist the Registrar to determine whether the essay is acceptable, up to a maximum of $500;

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

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 twelve (12) months of the date of this Order;

b. for a period of twelve 12 months commencing on the date of this Order:

i. the Member shall notify the College in writing of any employment in a pharmacy, which notification shall include the name and address of the employer and the date on which she began or is to begin employment, within seven (7) days of commencing such employment;

ii. the Member shall only work for an employer in a pharmacy who provides confirmation in writing from the Designated Manager of the pharmacy to the College, within seven (7) days of her commencing employment at the pharmacy, that the Designated Manager received and reviewed a copy of the Agreed Statement of Facts and this Joint Submission on Order, or the panel’s decision and reasons (when available), before she commenced employment;

iii.the terms in clauses 2.b.i. and ii. shall apply even if the Member’s employment in the pharmacy is as a relief pharmacy technician;

3. Directing the Registrar to suspend the Member’s Certificate of Registration for a period of 1 (one) month. The suspension shall commence on February 1, 2020, and run until February 28, 2020, inclusive;

4. Costs to the College in the amount of $7,500.00.

In its reprimand, the Panel noted that pharmacy is a self-regulated profession and members bear the responsibility of following the standards of practice. These standards require that a pharmacy technician adheres to current laws, regulations, and policies, and that she practices within the terms, conditions, or limitations imposed on her certificate of registration.

The Panel observed that pharmacy technicians, when collaborating to provide patient care, must confirm that a pharmacist has taken certain steps, before releasing prescription products.

The Panel expressed its hope that the Member has learned from this process and that she will not appear before a Discipline Committee panel again in the future.

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

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