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HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS - Regulation of health care professionals - Particular professions - Pharmacists - Practice and procedure - Injunctions

Tuesday, October 03, 2017 @ 8:35 AM | By John Carson


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Application by the Eastside Pharmacy Ltd. (Pharmacy) for an interlocutory order staying the Minister of Health’s 2015 decisions refusing to enroll the Pharmacy as a PharmaCare provider and finding the Pharmacy owed $1,135,989 for alleged improper PharmaCare practices and for an order restoring the Pharmacy’s enrolment in the PharmaCare program. The Pharmacy had applied for judicial review of both decisions. The Minister had denied the Pharmacy’s enrolment as a PharmaCare provider after an audit determined the Pharmacy had committed multiple claims errors, largely due to incomplete documentation and imperfect compliancy with the PharmaCare Frequency of Dispensing Policy. The Pharmacy operated in Vancouver’s downtown eastside. Many of its patients had drug addiction issues, chronic illness or lived on the streets. The majority of the Pharmacy’s patients relied on PharmaCare to pay for their prescriptions. Since the audit, the Pharmacy had made software and staff changes and had implemented internal audits and compliance reviews and external quarterly audits.

HELD: Application allowed. The Pharmacy had not unreasonably delayed in seeking injunctive relief. It had a serious judicial review application to be heard. It had suffered and would continue to suffer irreparable harm if injunctive relief was refused. The Minister would suffer little, if any, inconvenience of the relief was granted. The balance of convenience favoured the Pharmacy.

Eastside Pharmacy Ltd. v. British Columbia (Minister of Health), [2017] B.C.J. No. 1722, British Columbia Supreme Court, K.N. Affleck J., August 30, 2017. Digest No. TLD-Oct22017004