A Penticton, B.C., pharmacist with a history of running afoul of the guidelines of her profession has been suspended for a year and won’t be allowed to own or manage a pharmacy in the near future.
The College of Pharmacists of B.C. issued professional sanctions on Joelle Mbamy, the owner of Penticton’s Sunrise Pharmacy, that went into effect this week.
According to a decision by the college, Mbamy acknowledged that on or about Sept. 15, 2021, she dispensed medication to a patient from a prescription dated March 30, 2021.
“Before dispensing this medication to the patient, the registrant did not confirm the patient’s diagnosis, did not conduct a clinical assessment of the appropriateness of the medication and the prescribed dose, and did not provide the patient with the information required for a pharmacist/patient consultation,” reads the decision.
Mbamy “neglected her basic duties as a pharmacist, did not protect and promote the well-being of her patient, did not act in the best interests of her patient, and placed her patient at risk of harm,” the college said.
The heavy sanctions, however, are reflective of a long history of not adhering to guidelines.
Between 2017 and 2020, Mbamy was sanctioned for other matters including, in 2019, dispensing opioids incorrectly, securing methadone supplies improperly and shoddy paperwork. For that, on Oct. 26 a committee of the college ordered Mbamy to pay a $20,000 fine to the college, be suspended for three months and complete training.
At the time of that order, more light was also shed on the death of a teenage employee of Sunrise Pharmacy.
Security camera footage from the pharmacy showed the teen was improperly allowed to be in the dispensary and compounding rooms at the pharmacy in September 2017 without supervision, giving the teen access to prescription medications.
The college said there is “no evidence on the security footage to confirm that the minor obtained the methadone from the pharmacy.”
Despite these earlier situations and ensuing interventions, Mbamy has continued a pattern of non-adherence to practice standards, the college said in its July 14 decision.
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“Her prior history, pattern of poor professional judgment, and demonstration of a disregard for the fundamentals of pharmacy practice is considered significant professional misconduct,” the decision reads.
Mbamy entered into a consent agreement with the college’s inquiry committee and agreed to be suspended as a registrant of the college for a period of one year, from July 18 to July 17, 2023, and was ordered to complete the UBC Canadian Pharmacy Practice Programme, in its entirety, and the Pharmacy Qualifying Examination, Part II (OSCE) through the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada.
She’s not to be a pharmacy manager, director, owner or preceptor for pharmacy students for a period of five years from the date that her suspension ends.
“The Inquiry Committee considered it appropriate that the disposition for such conduct be one that serves as a strong deterrent and sends a clear message to both the profession and the public that the College cannot and will not tolerate this type of conduct under any circumstances.”