Community Pharmacy Inspection Program discovers drug diversion in Hamilton pharmacy

Health Canada helps protect Canadians by minimizing the diversion and problematic use of controlled substances such as such as oxycodone, morphine, fentanyl and benzodiazepines. Health Canada’s Pharmacy Inspection Program does this, in part, by performing compliance and monitoring activities of community pharmacies.

Over the course of two years, Health Canada inspected the MT Cross Pharmacy located in Hamilton, Ontario on multiple occasions and identified several concerns pertaining to controlled substances. Health Canada referred these concerns to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Ontario College of Pharmacists for follow-up and further action. The RCMP investigation uncovered the diversion of more than 400,000 doses of a variety of pharmaceutical narcotics derived from the legitimate supply chain to the black market. As a result of the investigation, in May 2018 and January 2019, the RCMP laid 15 criminal charges under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA).

While many inspections lead to referrals to the relevant provincial/territorial pharmacy colleges and/or law enforcement, this is the first time a pharmacy inspection conducted by Health Canada’s Controlled Substances Program has led to criminal charges under the CDSA.

January 21, 2019
Additional RCMP charges in pharmacy drug trafficking conspiracy

May 22, 2018
RCMP charges Pharmacist and Owner

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