Whitehorse Daily Star

Pharmacist defends himself against host of accusations

A Whitehorse pharmacist says a Pharmacy Board of Inquiry and the Registrar of Pharmacists committed “unreasonable errors of law and fact” when they decided to suspend his licence.

By Emily Blake on February 7, 2018

A Whitehorse pharmacist says a Pharmacy Board of Inquiry and the Registrar of Pharmacists committed “unreasonable errors of law and fact” when they decided to suspend his licence.

Gennadi Gouniavyi recently filed reasons for his Sept. 6, 2017 petition against the decision, which resulted from an investigation into a complaint made against him.

According to court documents, Sean Eichendorf made the complaint on May 5, 2016

It alleged 63 incidents of medication errors and 12 examples of pharmacy misconduct.

Those included that the wrong medications were being dispensed and in improper quantities, and that blister pack medications were incomplete or had errors.

The complaint also claimed patient confidentiality was breached when patients received medication intended for other patients.

Finally, it alleged errors were not documented, and that Gouniavyi violated protocols in dispensing narcotics.

In August 2016, the board of inquiry was appointed under the Pharmacy Act to investigate the allegations.

In April 2017, it reached a finding of “professional misconduct” which Gouniavyi said was not communicated to him.

In late July 2017, the board found Gouniavyi guilty of “improper misconduct” for 14 admitted errors made while dispensing medication to patients.

It made a number of recommendations to the Registrar of Pharmacists. Among them was that Gouniavyi’s licence be suspended for four weeks with conditions for being reinstated.

Those included completing relevant courses, writing a letter of reflection, and being subject to a practice review by the registrar within six months.

Additionally, it recommended a second independent investigation into a number of reporting inconsistencies that it said were beyond its scope.

In August 2017, the Registrar of Pharmacists, under the Department of Community Services, accepted the board’s findings and recommendations.

It said if Gouniavyi did not comply with the conditions, he would not be eligible to return to practice in the Yukon.

The department also noted it was working on finding an inspector for a secondary investigation.

But Gouniavyi is countering those decisions, claiming the board of inquiry and registrar erred.

The alleged errors by the board of inquiry include:

• suspending Gouniavyi’s licence “without factual basis, evidence or law”;

• failing to ensure he was reasonably informed of the steps taken or given the ability to provide detailed explanations in response to the allegations raised against him;

• misinterpreting sections of the Pharmacy Act, including the term “improper conduct”;

• failing to consider relevant material and evidence by Gouniavyi while considering irrelevant information by the complainant and other sources;

• making incorrect findings of “professional misconduct”;

• failing to provide written reasons in support of its decision;

• making findings beyond its scope and powers; and

• setting an “unreasonably short” timeline of six business days to respond to allegations of 75 incidents between 2012 and 2016.

Gouniavyi also claims the registrar failed to constitute an unbiased board, saying he was not informed of its makeup.

And he says it didn’t ensure proper procedural steps were followed to ensure a fair and just consideration of the board’s decision.

Additionally, Gouniavyi says the registrar imposed penalties recommended by the board before the appeal period had lapsed, which unfairly prejudiced his employment.

And he says the board’s finding that he “did not understand the seriousness of the errors identified or the importance of documentation in respect to his pharmacy practice” was made without any submissions from him and not based on evidentiary findings.

Finally, Gouniavyi claims Eichendorf made the complaint against him only after he was put on an administrative leave pending investigation into allegations of misconduct against him as a pharmacist at the same pharmacy.

Gouniavyi is asking that the second investigation be quashed and the board’s decision be dismissed.

Comments (8)

Up 1 Down 1

Doha Ddear on Feb 10, 2018 at 12:55 pm

It seems many of us are confused. This guy hasn't missed a day of work or pay because of this issue and won't as long as this petition is tied up in court.
A better question is how a corporation that seems on the surface to have little value on patient safety is still in the health care business doling out meds to Yukoners?

Has the company made statement about this petition, and if so where is it?

Up 1 Down 1

Guncache on Feb 9, 2018 at 10:39 pm

Wish we knew what pharmacy it is

Up 3 Down 1

bobby bitman on Feb 8, 2018 at 12:45 pm

Still no mention of where this person worked. What pharmacy put up with him for so many years, with so many known problems?!

Up 4 Down 1

Josey Wales on Feb 8, 2018 at 11:37 am

PSG...indeed math is hard! Imagine PSG how a pharmacist will be in 20 years after “public school” where 4+3=9. As it seems to upset snowflakes, so too avoid upsetting....we call it common core.
Or an educrats socially engineered society, where everyone gets a ribbon and merit is like swearing.
Math in the very near future will be like biology today, PC gibberish.

Up 4 Down 1

KnowsBothSides on Feb 8, 2018 at 10:33 am

What’s interesting is that Sean and Gena worked together for years in the same pharamacy and were friends...

Up 4 Down 1

Thomas Brewer on Feb 8, 2018 at 9:06 am

If 63 people returned to the pharmacy to complain about their dispensing, there's likely dozens more that either didn't notice or couldn't be bothered to complain.
How Gouniavyi has the gall to contest the findings of the board, take his medicine (oh yes, pun intended) of 4 weeks suspension and some training, then come back and try and be a better pharmacist, is beyond me.

Have to say however, I'd be extremely reluctant to have this guy point me to the Aspirin aisle.

Up 3 Down 1

Leilani on Feb 8, 2018 at 8:20 am

This happened to my son a mix up and print on his medicine for schizophrenia like big time. I didn't know who to complain to or what to do. This error caused a relapse since then. I changed drug stores

Up 5 Down 2

ProScience Greenie on Feb 7, 2018 at 3:19 pm

Well, that's two cases in the last few years of Yukon pharmacists having a hard time with basic arithmetic.

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