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Edmonton pharmacist handed ‘additional suspension’ for creating ‘false dispensing records’

In this Aug. 5, 2010 file photo, a pharmacy tech poses for a picture with hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets, the generic version of Vicodin.
In this Aug. 5, 2010 file photo, a pharmacy tech poses for a picture with hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets, the generic version of Vicodin. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

An Edmonton pharmacist who was found by an Alberta College of Pharmacy (ACP) hearing tribunal to have created false dispensing records has had an additional suspension placed on his practice permit.

In a news release issued Thursday, the ACP said Si Huu Nguyen will have his practice permit suspended for an additional two years and that he has also been ordered to pay fines and other costs totalling about $38,000.

The news release was issued several weeks after the tribunal issued a ruling on the investigation.

“Nguyen was accused of submitting more than $170,000 in claims to a third-party insurer from Jan. 1, 2017, to Dec. 31, 2017, that could not be later supported with corresponding inventory purchase records,” the ACP said. “The hearing tribunal found that Nguyen had created false dispensing records while acting as licensee of the V-Can Pharmacy in Edmonton, which closed in December 2018.

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“The tribunal found Nguyen guilty of unprofessional conduct, both as a pharmacist and a licensee, and that his actions had harmed the integrity of the profession. The third-party insurer is pursuing repayment of the $170,000 and has already recovered most of the funds.”

The tribunal itself issued a statement following its Dec. 18, 2019 decision and said Nguyen “demonstrated that he allowed his professional judgment to be impaired by financial gain, contrary to principle 1(1) of the Code of Ethics.”

“The public should be entitled to expect pharmacists to be honest in their dealings with others in the provision of healthcare services,” the tribunal added.

“The public should also be entitled to expect that pharmacists will not allow their own financial interests to take precedence over the professional obligations and judgment.”

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

In July 2019, an ACP hearing tribunal concluded Nguyen had created false dispensing records and that he had also stored pharmacy records outside of the licensed premises without being authorized to do so. At that time, Nguyen also had his practice permit suspended for two years, was handed fines totalling about $20,000, was ordered to complete an ethics course and was barred from owning or managing a pharmacy for five years.

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