St. John's pharmacist to be tried on fraud, false document charges

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Lloyd Matthew Bennett, one of two pharmacists accused of unlawfully dispensing prescription drugs and failing to keep proper records at East End Pharmacy in St. John's, will stand trial on two counts of fraud and single counts of making a false document and uttering a false document.

Judge David Orr made that ruling today in provincial court, following a preliminary inquiry.

Federal charges dealing with violations under the Food and Drug Act (FDA) for failing to retain a written prescription are expected to be resolved.

Bennett's lawyer Nick Westera indicated the federal charges will be resolved during the next court appearance on May 27.

The other pharmacist, John Gerald Whalen, waived his right to a preliminary inquiry and his case is going to trial.

Westera told the judge that Bennett will be re-electing a trial from Supreme Court judge alone to a judge and jury.

East End Pharmacy Ltd. on Mount Cashel Road - which is owned by Bennett and where Whalen was employed - was also charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000 and breaching the FDA. The offences date back to 2004.

The case involving all three defendants will be back in court May 27.

In March, the Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board disciplined the two pharmacists for  improperly dispensing prescription drugs and failing to keep proper records after hearings were held in February.

Bennett's licence to practice pharmacy has been suspended for five years, while Whalen's licence was suspended for three years. The board also fined both men - $40,000 for Bennett and $20,000 for Whalen. Hearings were held last month where both pleaded guilty to some violations.

Organizations: FDA, Bennett's, Supreme Court Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board

Geographic location: St. John's, Mount Cashel Road, February.Bennett

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  • sc
    April 19, 2013 - 12:48

    If the NL Pharmacy Board took these offences seriously it would not just have suspended these licences but revoked them permanently. l don't understand why it would risk further damaging the reputation of NL's pharmacists when these suspensions have been served and these guys are back dispensing pharmaceuticals.