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Moose Jaw pharmacist fined for accepting over $700K in gifts

Niklas Voelk must pay $19,000 in fines
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A photo of a pharmacist holding a medicine box and capsule packs. (Shutterstock photo)

A Moose Jaw pharmacist has been found guilty of professional misconduct after receiving over $700,000 in gifts from a generic drug manufacturer.

Former Co-op manager Niklas Voelk pleaded guilty to professional misconduct and has been ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and $14,000 in investigation and hearing costs to his licensing body, Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals (SCPP) for accepting gifts from generic drug manufacturers, Pharmascience.

Between 2005 and 2013, while he was the pharmacy manager of the Moose Jaw Co-op Pharmacy, Voelk accepted and received prepaid Visa cards, retail gift cards and American Express certificates. SCPP says these gifts and monies were significantly large and exceeded any nominal items.

Voelk did not report or account the gifts to Moose Jaw Co-op until September 2015. 

The issue came to light when Moose Jaw Co-op received a letter on Aug. 31, 2015, from Canada Revenue Agency. The letter was part of an investigation conducted by Canada Revenue Agency regarding gift cards, travel vouchers and other incentives provided by generic drug manufacturers to pharmacists.

On Sept. 25, 2015, Voelk and his accountant, met with the Moose Jaw Co-op manager. Subsequently, Voelk admitted that he had been accepting the substantial gifts from Pharmascience. His employment was terminated a month later.

Voelk has until December 1 to pay the fine and fees or risks having his license to practice suspended. 


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