College registrants have a legal and ethical obligation to promote and protect the best interests of their patients. The majority of College registrants are competent and skilled practitioners who work hard to uphold this obligation and maintain patient confidence by providing safe and effective pharmacy care.

However, there are times when a patient, co-worker, employer or other health care professional may have a concern about the pharmacy care delivered by a pharmacist or pharmacy technician. The College’s complaints resolution process is designed to deal with such circumstances and is grounded in the College’s mandate to protect the public.

Contacting the College about a Complaint

If you have a concern about the care you received from a pharmacist or pharmacy technician, the best place to start is to speak directly with that person about your concern. Simple miscommunications are often at the root of many complaints, and although it may be difficult, a face-to-face discussion is often the best way to resolve an issue.

If you are unable to resolve the concern with the pharmacist or pharmacy technician, it may be appropriate to contact the College’s complaints line.

Results of the Methadone Maintenance Treatment Action Plan

The four-year action plan was approved in June 2015 in response to numerous concerns and allegations received from members of the public, registrants, and other health care professionals regarding the dispensing of Methadone Maintenance Therapy (MMT) from pharmacies.

Such issues of alleged non-compliance included (but were not limited to): 

  • The provision of inducements (both monetary and non-monetary) to patients to retain or attract methadone patients;
  • Instructing patients to request an increased frequency of medication dispensing (either daily or weekly) from their prescribing physicians, thereby providing the pharmacy with increased dispensing fees;
  • Providing unauthorized advances of medications to patients at the patient’s request without notifying the prescribing physician;
  • Processing prescriptions on PharmaNet even if patients did not attend at the pharmacy to receive their medications;
  • Failing to reverse entries on the patient’s PharmaNet record for prescribed medications that were not dispensed to patients in accordance with the instructions of the prescribing physician; and
  • Failing to maintain accurate local patient records and PharmaNet patient records.

Action Plan Goal: Undercover Investigations 
Between 2015-2017, as part of the MMT action plan, and in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the College conducted undercover investigations.

The undercover investigations focused on the identification of non-compliance with legislative requirements, practice standards, and ethical standards.

Action Plan Goal: Focused Inspections 
The College conducted 41 focused Methadone Maintenance Treatment inspections between May 2015 and July 2017.

Pharmacies were selected based on the volume of methadone dispensing as well as previous complaints/tips related to methadone dispensing. Additionally, a number of pharmacies outside the Lower Mainland were selected to assess how methadone dispensing practices varied with geography and population.


In general, compliance with dispensing and patient care standards was very high. However, some challenges remain in rural areas where the lack of prescribers results in patients being unable to be reassessed immediately, and geographic distances that necessitate long duration carries.

Action Plan Goal: Stakeholder Relations
Throughout the action plan process, the College has built a number of positive working relationships with various health stakeholders. As a result, the College has become a primary resource for MMT information and guidance.

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