The Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals (the "College") regulates the profession of pharmacy to provide safe, effective, patient-centred pharmacy care in Saskatchewan.
The mandate of the College is to provide protection to the public in matters relating to pharmacy practice and the sale of drugs.
If you have a problem or concern with the way a pharmacist practices or the service you have received from a pharmacist or pharmacy in Saskatchewan, the following steps are recommended:
First, talk with your pharmacist about your concerns. He/she will want to know that you are dissatisfied with the service received. Sometimes, problems occur because there has been a misunderstanding between what you expect and what the pharmacist believes should be done in regards to your care. Talking to your pharmacist can often resolve your concerns or questions.
Second, if the pharmacist is unable to resolve your concerns, or if you are not comfortable talking about your concerns with the pharmacist, talk with the pharmacy manager about your situation, for he/she too want satisfied patients.
If you are unable to receive satisfaction from the above efforts, or if you feel it is inappropriate to do either of the above, you may then contact the College to discuss your concerns. We will listen and will seek to offer guidance or suggestions for your consideration in resolving your concerns/situation.
The Complaints Manager or Complaints Director for the College can assist you with the options outlined above. Because it can be difficult to know how to properly approach individuals to express a concern and make them aware of an issue, the College can assist you by supporting communication between you and the pharmacist and pharmacy manager. If the College is unable to resolve the concern or situation to your satisfaction with this approach, you may wish to submit a formal complaint.
The College does not have jurisdiction to assist with all concerns regarding the business practices of a pharmacy, particularly those concerns that are not related to health care. College staff will evaluate and advise you if your concern is within our jurisdiction.
Below is a summary of the Complaints Resolution process:
When the College receives an inquiry regarding a concern with the practice of a pharmacist or the processes of a pharmacy, we will first determine if the concern is something that is regulated by the College, and if so, will determine if it can be handled with a phone call or letter of concern to the pharmacist or pharmacy manager.
If the concern is more serious, the person contacting the College may be asked if they wish to lodge a formal complaint. Formal complaints must be received in writing and contain specific details about the event(s), concern(s), or pharmacy process(es), filled prescriptions, and/or witnesses.
Once the College receives a written formal complaint, the following actions are taken:
A file is opened and will contain all the information gathered as the complaint is investigated.
The complainant is provided with an acknowledgement letter and the file number. The Complainant may be contacted for more information by the investigator for the College.
The pharmacist or pharmacy manager on behalf of the pharmacy is then notified of the complaint.* In most cases, the pharmacist or pharmacy manager is provided with a copy of the formal complaint and a written letter asking them to answer to the allegation(s) outlined in the complaint. In some cases, the pharmacist or pharmacy manager is interviewed by the investigator for the College, or interviewed by the entire Complaints Committee at a scheduled meeting.
The Complaints Committee is a volunteer group of pharmacists, and one public member who meet four times per year and review all of the information to determine next steps for the investigation.
The original written formal complaint and supporting information, as well as information provided by the pharmacist or pharmacy manager on behalf of the pharmacy, is provided to the Complaints Committee for review at their next scheduled meeting.
At their regularly scheduled meetings, the Complaints Committee will review all of the gathered information. Should the Committee feel they require additional information before making a decision, they will direct the investigator for the College to obtain more information or interview pharmacists and other staff or members of the public.
*Your name is an important part of the process because the pharmacist or pharmacy manager on behalf of the pharmacy will need specific details (including the name of the patient or prescription information) in order to properly address the concerns expressed in the complaint and provide a response to the Complaints Committee. Any complaint that is sent to the discipline process will require a full disclosure of all information gathered by the Committee under the rules of law.
*The College only accepts anonymous complaints in exceptional circumstances.
Once the Complaints Committee has all the information they require, they make one of three decisions:
The Committee may close the complaint:
with educational guidance, through a cautionary letter or a letter of guidance to the pharmacist or pharmacy manager if the actions of the pharmacist or pharmacy manager appear NOT to be in compliance with the legislation, standards and guidelines of the College;
no cautions are provided if the actions of the pharmacist or pharmacy manager appear to be in compliance with the legislation, standards and guidelines of the College; or
if there is insufficient evidence to support/indicate a violation occurred, or if the matter is not within the jurisdiction of the College.
The Committee may decide that the pharmacist or pharmacy manager and the complainant may benefit from an “alternative dispute resolution” process such as mediation with a third party (e.g. mediator from Saskatchewan Justice or from another source with the required expertise).
The Committee may determine that the complaint should proceed to a discipline hearing. This is a formal hearing process where the pharmacist and/or pharmacy manager is charged with Professional Incompetence and/or Professional Misconduct, and/or the proprietor of the pharmacy is charged with Proprietary Misconduct as defined in The Pharmacy Act, 1996. You will be notified of the hearing and can attend if you wish. You may be asked to testify at the hearing.
Once the Complaints Committee has made their decision, the Committee reports their decision in writing to the complainant, the pharmacist or pharmacy manager on behalf of the pharmacy, the Saskatchewan College of Pharmacists Council and the Discipline Committee of the Saskatchewan College of Pharmacists. Should a complaint proceed to a discipline hearing, the office of the Registrar is then responsible to enforce the decision of the Discipline Committee including any penalties that the Committee may order.
SASKATCHEWAN COLLEGE OF PHARMACY PROFESSIONALS
700 - 4010 Pasqua Street
Regina, Saskatchewan, S4S 7B9