Pharmacy uses kickbacks and threat of eviction to keep methadone clients
- September 9, 2008 5:53 PM
- By Enza Uda
A CBC News investigation into pharmacies that paid kickbacks to drug addicts discovered one outlet with a troubled past used a different tactic to get and keep methadone users coming to the pharmacy.
Gastown Pharmacy in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside has required certain customers to fill their methadone prescriptions exclusively with them, or lose their homes.
The pharmacy had changed its name to Peoples Pharmacy for a short period of time when it became a member of Peoples Drug Mart, a chain of drug stores across B.C. and in part of Alberta. It reverted its name to Gastown Pharmacy on June 1.
George Wolsey, a pharmacist at Gastown Pharmacy, also runs the nearby Wonder Hotel. Wolsey made it a condition in his agreement with the tenants that they must be on B.C.'s taxpayer-funded methadone program and must get all the prescriptions filled at Gastown Pharmacy.