Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Pharmacies accused of paying kickbacks to drug addicts

From the Globe and Mail:
Pharmacies that offer cash incentives to drug addicts for their daily methadone prescriptions are under investigation by the B.C. College of Pharmacists and PharmaCare, the provincial government's drug-insurance plan.

“I can confirm that we have an active investigation … but I am not in a position to reveal any details,” Lori DeCou, a college spokesperson, said yesterday in an interview.

Bernadette Murphy, a spokesperson for PharmaCare, said the provincial agency was working with other authorities. “The investigation has been going on for some months,” she said.

Helen Weiss, who has been working at the Native Health Society Medical Centre for six years, said yesterday five or six pharmacies in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside have posed problems for years.

Methadone is prescribed to addicts as a substitute for heroin. To ensure that the addicts consume the drug and do not resell it on the street, the pharmacists are expected to watch the addicts as they drink the methadone. ...more

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