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Alberta pharmacist fined, licence revoked over stolen narcotic pills

Former pharmacist Leanne Rogalsky has been fined and had her license revoked after it was found she stole thousands of narcotics pills.
Former pharmacist Leanne Rogalsky has been fined and had her license revoked after it was found she stole thousands of narcotics pills. CREDIT: Facebook/Leanne Rogalsky

An Alberta pharmacist charged with stealing with thousands of narcotics while working at a pharmacy in Okotoks has had her permit cancelled and was slapped with a hefty fine.

An Alberta College of Pharmacy’s hearing tribunal found that Leanne Rogalsky stole about 34,000 pills, including oxycodone and morphine, for personal use during her three and a half years of working at the Safeway pharmacy, according to an emailed release.

The tribunal also found some of the stolen pills were “diverted beyond Rogalsky’s personal use.”

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“The tribunal found Rogalsky abused her position of trust by creating false patient profiles and records to facilitate and conceal her diversions,” the college said, adding that she “breached the most fundamental elements of trust, integrity and professionalism.”

Rogaksly was originally charged with the thefts in December 2017.

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In addition to having her licence revoked, Rogalsky was also ordered to pay $40,000 in fines along with the cost of the investigation and hearing — approximately $37,000 — and was given a five-year ban from serving as a pharmacy owner, proprietor or licensee.

A copy of the tribunal’s decision will also be sent to all licensed pharmacies on a named basis, the college said.

READ MORE: Edmonton pharmacist’s licence suspended due to ‘unprofessional conduct’

“Pharmacy professionals have a duty and responsibility to ensure the safe storage, appropriate use, and monitoring of all medications, in particular, narcotic and controlled drugs,” the tribunal said in relation to its decision.

“Ms. Rogalsky undermined the integrity of the profession by failing to ensure these responsibilities were met and by intentionally diverting substantial amounts of narcotic and controlled drugs.

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“Trust, honesty and integrity are critical attributes of pharmacists. Albertans require this of the pharmacy profession in order to receive appropriate care. The profession of pharmacy requires this of pharmacists to ensure that practice is conducted in a manner that is safe and effective for all those who utilize pharmacy services.”

The tribunal said it hopes the cancellation of Rogalsky’s permit, as well as the significant fines, will deter others from committing similar offences.