Whitehorse Daily Star

Pharmacist challenges decision in the courts

A Whitehorse pharmacist is fighting a decision that would see his licence suspended.

By Emily Blake on November 22, 2017

A Whitehorse pharmacist is fighting a decision that would see his licence suspended.

Gennadi Gouniavyi filed a court appeal in September of findings from a board of inquiry appointed under the Pharmacists Act. It recommended, among other things, that his licence be suspended for four weeks.

The board was appointed to investigate a complaint made against Gouniavyi on May 5, 2016.

In August 2017, it found Gouniavyi guilty of “improper misconduct” for 14 admitted errors made while dispensing medication to patients.

Gouniavyi “does not understand the seriousness of medication errors and has not taken steps to work with the pharmacy team to prevent any further occurrence,” it said.

The board also noted that “being distracted in a busy dispensary and assuming without clarification is a common problem.”

It also made recommendations to the Registrar of Pharmacists under the Department of Community Services.

Along with the licence suspension, it recommended a second independent investigation be conducted into a number of reporting inconsistencies that were beyond its scope.

This investigation should be conducted on site, it said, to confirm or deny issues with narcotic inventory and appropriate dispensary practices.

The department accepted the board’s recommendations and noted it was working on finding an inspector.

Earlier this month, documents were filed with the court that detail the allegations outlined in the complaint. Those that identify the third-party patient behind the complaint have been sealed.

The complaint claims a total of 63 incidents involving medication errors and 12 examples of pharmacy misconduct.

These include claims that the wrong medications were being dispensed and in improper quantities, and that blister pack medications were incomplete or had errors.

It says patient confidentiality was also breached when patients received medication intended for other patients.

The complaint further alleges the mishandling of returned narcotics and that improper narcotics medications and quantities were being dispensed.

These errors were not documented, it adds, and no action plans were initiated to prevent the errors from recurring.

It also claims there were efforts to conceal or destroy evidence of errors.

Finally, the complaint claims that Gouniavyi violated protocols in dispensing narcotics by shorting quantities to rectify counts, and that he was unable to do calculations, read instructions or handle medication errors.

If Gouniavyi’s licence is suspended, he would have to meet a number of criteria to be eligible for reinstatement.

These include completing at least two “appropriate courses” recommended by the board and providing the registrar with a written statement on policies he would follow to prevent future medication errors.

As well, he would have to write a letter of reflection detailing how he has changed practices in response to the complaint.

Gouniavyi would also be subject to a practice review by the registrar within six months of reinstatement.

Comments (11)

Up 0 Down 6

Margaret on Nov 23, 2017 at 5:55 pm

Find this so hard to believe.
For over 10 years my family and I were highly impressed with his professionalism, his knowledge relating to the medications and their contra - indications and his genuinely willingness to research and help.

Up 8 Down 2

Just Say'in on Nov 23, 2017 at 12:29 pm

Was he from some other country where they do not get trained the same or what? One of the problems with people coming here with so called skills.

Up 11 Down 0

Victoria on Nov 23, 2017 at 10:27 am

Wow! Gross safety practices.

Up 8 Down 0

Sawchuk on Nov 22, 2017 at 11:34 pm

The only trace of this person on the internet is this article. (I checked using both of the spellings the star used.) How is this possible? Something way more sinister than a few mistakes counting meds is going on here. I hope someone is digging into this.

Up 12 Down 0

jc on Nov 22, 2017 at 9:14 pm

They gave his name, why don't they tell the public where he works? We have a right to know.

Up 13 Down 0

mary laker on Nov 22, 2017 at 7:50 pm

How did a person who cannot do calculations or read instructions, get a license in the first place? Interesting that the article does not say which pharmacy hired this person and kept him on until this many complaints were laid!

Up 2 Down 8

Yukonalb on Nov 22, 2017 at 4:57 pm

These so called "misconducts" and practice errors could've been easily addressed and solved within the pharmacy itself and didn't need to go to the boards, courts, media, etc.
I use this pharmacy for more than 10 years and never had any problems with this pharmacist.

Up 12 Down 0

What pharmacy? on Nov 22, 2017 at 4:30 pm

Which pharmacy was this person working at during all of these incidents?

Up 12 Down 0

Politico on Nov 22, 2017 at 3:19 pm

Why hasn't the name of the pharmacy been mentioned? Doesn't the public have a right to know if their dispensary is having problem so the customers can protect themselves?

Up 13 Down 0

Groucho d'North on Nov 22, 2017 at 3:18 pm

“improper misconduct”? Can somebody please explain what that translates to in English? No wonder our judicial system is all screwy, they can't even communicate effectively.

Up 9 Down 0

ProScience Greenie on Nov 22, 2017 at 3:02 pm

Pharmacy, public and private, is long overdue for a good housecleaning and to be brought up to modern standards in distribution and tracking. It is the year 2017 and we have things like computers and computer databases. No wonder so many dangerous prescription drugs are being abused and are also being sold on the streets.

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