Downtown Eastside pharmacy shut due to serious health concerns

FILE PHOTO: A lab technician counts pills at a pharmacy.
FILE PHOTO: A lab technician counts pills at a pharmacy. THE CANADIAN PRESS FILE/Jacques Boissinot

A pharmacy on the Downtown Eastside has been shut by the College of Pharmacists of BC after an inspection turned up serious sanitation, structural and health concerns.

The college found a series of issues, which posed serious health risks at the Native Vancouver Pharmacy at 50 East Hastings Street. Despite its name, the pharmacy has no association with either the First Nations Health Authority or Vancouver Native Health Services, which are located nearby.

Some of the issues include: fecal matter from mice and rats; mould; cockroach bait traps and mouse traps; and an environment that was dirty, dilapidated, disorganized and not appropriate for patient care.

“I am appalled,” Anar Dossa, chair of the College Board, said in a release.

“As a profession, we are dedicated to quality patient care. I want to assure members of the public that patient health is our top priority. We are taking this extraordinary action in order to protect the public health.”

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The college is providing a two-week grace period before the suspension to allow patients time to move to a new pharmacy and get new prescriptions from their doctors. During that transition period the college will actively monitor the pharmacy.


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