Calgary

Okotoks pharmacist loses licence after stealing 33,000 narcotic pills

An Alberta pharmacist who was convicted earlier this year of stealing more than 33,000 narcotics pills from the Safeway pharmacy in Okotoks has been stripped of her practice permit by the professional licensing body.

Leanne Rogalsky ordered to pay costs of hearing plus $40,000 fine

Leanne Rogalsky was convicted in April of stealing tens of thousands of tablets of narcotics that went missing from a Safeway pharmacy in Okotoks. (Facebook / Google Maps)

A pharmacist who was convicted earlier this year of stealing more than 33,000 narcotics pills from the Safeway pharmacy in Okotoks, Alta., has been stripped of her practice permit by the professional licensing body.

Okotoks RCMP laid the charges in December 2017 against Leanne Rogalsky. The charges included fraud, theft, breach of trust and trafficking in a controlled substance.

Between Aug. 1, 2012, and Oct. 13, 2017, Rogalsky created fake patient records and then used fake prescriptions under those patients' names to take the narcotics from the pharmacy, investigators said.

She was convicted of six charges, resulting in a $3,000 fine for selling drugs outside of a pharmacy; a conditional sentence of two years less a day on the four possession charges; and another conditional sentence of 18 months for using a forged document.

On Thursday, the Alberta College of Pharmacy said in a release that a hearing tribunal has ordered the cancellation of Rogalsky's practice permit.

The tribunal concluded that Rogalsky had diverted the narcotic pills, including oxycodone and morphine, for her own use and for other people.

The college said "Rogalsky breached the most fundamental elements of trust, integrity and professionalism."

"In ordering the cancellation of Rogalsky's practice permit, the tribunal imposed the most significant penalty permitted under the Health Professions Act."

Rogalsky was ordered to pay $40,000 in fines, plus costs of the investigation and hearing, estimated to be $37,000.

She was given a five-year prohibition on serving as a pharmacy owner, proprietor or licensee.

The college also ordered that a copy of its decision be sent to all licensed pharmacies.

Rogalsky was disciplined a decade earlier after even larger quantities of narcotics went missing from a Shoppers Drug Mart in Calgary and a Pharmasave in Canmore.

In 2008, Rogalsky admitted to a host of allegations brought against her by the college (then called the Alberta College of Pharmacists) with respect to missing drugs at two pharmacies where she worked in 2003 and 2004.

In a written decision, the licensing body for pharmacists said 39,733 tablets of narcotics "were dispensed pursuant to prescriptions that did not exist" from the Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacy at Shawnessy Towne Centre, which Rogalsky owned up until December 2003.

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