The Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals (SCPP) serves the public interest by regulating the profession of pharmacy to provide safe, competent 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. SCPP protects the public by:
- regulating the licensing of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacies; and
- establishing and enforcing rules of practice, including standards of professional practice and conduct for the pharmacy profession in Saskatchewan.
When you deal with a pharmacy registrant and/or pharmacy you are entitled to competent and ethical treatment. Usually, that is exactly what you receive. There may be a time, however, when you think that professional standards are not being met.
Protecting Your Privacy
Protected information includes personal health information about an identifiable individual that the College collects during the course of fulfilling its responsibilities under The Pharmacy and Pharmacy Disciplines Act .
What can I do if I have a concern?
If you have a problem or concern with the way a pharmacy professional practises or the service you have received from a pharmacy professional or pharmacy in Saskatchewan, the following steps are recommended:
- First, talk with your pharmacy professional 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 pharmacy professional believes should be done in regards to your care. Talking to your pharmacy professional can often resolve your concerns or questions.
- Second, if the pharmacy professional is unable to resolve your concerns, or if you are not comfortable talking about your concerns with the pharmacy professional, talk with the pharmacy manager about your situation, for he/she too wants 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.
* Please note: 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.
What can I do if I’m unsure about how to approach the pharmacist and/or pharmacy manager?
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 pharmacy professional 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.
How do I file a complaint?
When the College receives an inquiry regarding a concern with the practice of a pharmacy professional or the processes of a pharmacy, SCPP staff 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 pharmacy professional 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.
What happens once I file a complaint?
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 pharmacy professional or pharmacy manager on behalf of the pharmacy is then notified of the complaint.* In most cases, the pharmacy professional 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 pharmacy professional 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 pharmacy professionals and one public member who meet four times per year to 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 pharmacy professional 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 pharmacy professionals and other staff or members of the public.
* Your name is an important part of the process because the pharmacy professional 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.
What are the possible outcomes of a complaint?
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 pharmacy professional or pharmacy manager if the actions of the pharmacy professional 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 pharmacy professional 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 pharmacy professional 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 pharmacy professional 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 and Pharmacy Disciplines Act . 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 pharmacy professional or pharmacy manager on behalf of the pharmacy, the Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals’ Council and the Discipline Committee of the Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals.
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. SCPP posts the decisions and orders of its Discipline Committee on the CanLII website at https://www.canlii.org/en/sk/skcppdc/.
Questions about the Complaint Process
If you have questions about the complaint process, contact us here:
Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals
100 – 1964 Park Street
Regina, Saskatchewan S4N 7M5