Globe: BC pharmacies accused of paying kickbacks to drug addicts

September 8, 2008 at 10:59 pm Leave a comment

Shocking news out of Vancouver’s Downtown East Side. Downtown Victoria has at least one methadone clinic I’m aware of. This should be a warning that behaviour like this won’t be tolerated here.

Pharmacies accused of paying kickbacks to drug addicts

From Tuesday’s Globe and Mail
September 8, 2008 at 10:52 PM EDT

VANCOUVER — 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.

Dr. Weiss said she has heard from patients about pharmacies that allow addicts to walk out with the methadone without drinking it. She has heard of addicts drinking only a portion of the prescribed dose and carrying the rest out of the pharmacy under their jacket to resell.

She has also been told of places that pay addicts $10 as an incentive to bring their prescriptions to be filled daily at their outlet. The pharmacies receive $8.60 from PharmaCare to dispense a drug and an additional $7.70 for supervising a customer as they drink methadone.

Dr. Weiss said she first heard about the apparent kickback scheme from a “street-working young woman” who had a flare-up with a man she called her husband over a methadone prescription that was to be taken to a pharmacy that did not offer cash. Her partner wanted the woman to return to the clinic to have it changed.

“People talk and say, ‘I got $10.’ Then others say, ‘I want $10. Why shouldn’t I get it?’” she said.

Also reported by the CBC:

Pharmacy paid addict kickback for prescription: hidden camera

Entry filed under: social issues.

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