Kula, Allen

Hearing date: March 9, 2018

Summary of Allegations

At a hearing on October 26, 2017, a Panel of the Discipline Committee made findings of professional misconduct against Mr. Kula with respect to the following incidents, in that he:

  • Charged excessive dispensing fees and/or co-payments for dispensing less than the full quantity of the drugs prescribed for the patient, [Patient], without agreement of the patient or other valid authorization, in or about August–November 2013

In particular, the Panel found that he

  • Failed to maintain the standards of practice of the profession
  • Dispensed or sold drugs for an improper purpose
  • Charged a fee that is excessive in relation to the service provided
  • Contravened, while engaged in the practice of pharmacy, a federal or provincial law or municipal by-law with respect to the distribution, sale or dispensing of any drug or mixture of drugs, including sections 4, 5, 6 and/or 15 of the Ontario Drug Benefits Act, R.S.O. 1990, Ch. O.10, as amended; sections 18 and/or 20.2 of O.Reg. 201/96, as amended; and/or section 9 of Drug Interchangeability and Dispensing Fee Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.P.23, as amended
  • Engaged in conduct or performed an act relevant to the practice of pharmacy that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful

At the same hearing on October 26, 2017, the Panel made findings of professional misconduct against Mr. Kula with respect to the following incidents, in that he:

  • Dispensed and/or billed prescription and non-prescription medications, without authorization, for certain identified patients, in or about February-August 2014
  • Failed to keep records of prescriptions dispensed for certain identified patients, in or about April-September 2014
  • Failed to document renewals of prescriptions by a pharmacist for certain identified patients, in or about May-September 2014;
  • Dispensed and/or billed prescription and non-prescription medications, without authorization, by relying on “blanket authorizations” from Dr. [Name] to renew prescriptions for certain identified patients, on or about May 27-28, 2014;
  • Failed to keep records as required regarding current prescriptions but instead “piggybacking” on old prescriptions for certain identified patients, in or about June-November 2014;
  • Falsified claims for medications dispensed to patients at less frequent intervals than claimed for billing purposes for certain identified patients, in or about January-November 2014;
  • Dispensed lesser quantities of medications than prescribed without the written agreement of the patients, or failed to keep records of any such agreements, for certain identified patients, in or about January-November 2014;
  • Billed and/or dispensed quantities of medications in excess of the quantities required for certain identified patients, in or about April-July 2014;
  • Billed and/or dispensed medications for certain identified patients, after the Pharmacy had been advised that the patients were deceased, in or about June-August 2014;
  • Failed to provide prescription receipts for medications dispensed for certain identified patients, on or about August 7, 2014;
  • Billed for MedsCheck Reviews without justification, or without documenting any such justification, for certain identified patients, on or about January 22, 2014;
  • Dispensed medications to patients other than the specific medications identified in the prescription records, including ferrous gluconate and/or risperidone, in or about January-August 2014;
  • Failed to sign prescription hardcopies by a pharmacist for as many as 1,115 dispensing or billing transactions for up to 116 patients, in or about April-November 2014;
  • Failed to maintain prescription records in a readily-retrievable manner, including the records for certain identified prescriptions;
  • Failed to maintain records regarding authorizations for medications dispensed to patients in retirement homes, and/or prescription hardcopies signed by a pharmacist for such transactions, in or about July-August 2014;
  • Permitted non-pharmacist staff, [Staff Person 1] and/or [Staff Person 2], to process claims outside the Pharmacy for medications for certain identified patients, in or about April-July 2014

In particular, the Panel found that he

  • Failed to maintain a standard of practice of the profession
  • Failed to keep records as required respecting his patients
  • Falsified a record relating to his practice
  • Signed or issued, in his professional capacity, a document that he knew contained a false or misleading statement
  • Submitted an account or charge for services that he knew was false or misleading
  • Charged a fee that was excessive in relation to the service provided
  • Contravened the Act, the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act, the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, or the regulations under those Acts, and in particular, section 4 of the Pharmacy Act, 1991 S.O. 1991, c. 36, as amended; sections 36, 37 and/or 38 of O.Reg. 202/94, as amended; sections 150, 155 and/or 156 of the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act , R.S.O. 1990, c. H-4 as amended; and/or sections 54, 55, 56 and/or 57 of O.Reg.58/11, as amended
  • Contravened, while in engaged in the practice of pharmacy, a federal or provincial law or municipal by-law with respect to the distribution, sale or dispensing of any drug or mixture of drugs, and in particular, section 9 of the Food and Drugs Act, R.S.C. 1985, c.F-27, as amended; section C.01.041 of the Food and Drug Regulations, C.R.C., c. 870, as amended; sections 9 and/or 10 of the Drug Interchangeability and Dispensing Fee Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.P.23, as amended; section 4 of Ontario Regulation 936, as amended; and/or sections 5, 6 and/or 15 of the Ontario Drug Benefit Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.O.10, as amended; and/or sections 27 and/or 29 of O.Reg. 201/96, as amended
  • Permitted, consented to or approved, either expressly or by implication, the commission of an offence against any Act relating to the practice of pharmacy or to the sale of drugs by a corporation of which he was a director
  • Engaged in conduct or performed an act relevant to the practice of pharmacy that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful

At the same hearing on October 26, 2017, the Panel made findings of proprietary misconduct against Allen Kula, as director of W.J. Gagne Drugs Limited, c.o.b. as Romana Pharmacy, and/or Designated Manager of Romana Pharmacy in Keswick, Ontario with respect to the following incidents, in that he:

  • Failed to keep records of prescriptions dispensed for certain identified patients, in or about April-September 2014
  • Failed to keep records as required regarding current prescriptions but instead “piggybacking” on old prescriptions for certain identified patients, in or about June-November 2014
  • Dispensed medications to patients other than the specific medications identified in the prescription records, including ferrous gluconate and/or risperidone, in or about January-August 2014
  • Failed to sign prescription hardcopies by a pharmacist for as many as 1,115 dispensing or billing transactions for up to 116 patients, in or about April-November 2014
  • Failed to maintain certain identified prescription records in a readily-retrievable manner
  • Failed to maintain records regarding authorizations for medications dispensed to patients in retirement homes, and/or prescription hardcopies signed by a pharmacist for such transactions, in or about July-August 2014.
  • Dispensed and/or billed prescription and non-prescription medications, without authorization, for certain identified patients, in or about February-August 2014
  • Falsified claims for medications dispensed to patients at less frequent intervals than claimed for billing purposes for certain identified patients, in or about January-November 2014
  • Dispensed lesser quantities of medications than prescribed without the written agreement of the patients, or failed to keep records of any such agreements, for certain identified patients, in or about January-November 2014;
  • Dispensed and/or billed prescription and non-prescription medications, without authorization, by relying on “blanket authorizations” from Dr. [Name] to renew prescriptions for certain identified patients, on or about May 27-28, 2014

In particular, the Panel found that Mr. Kula and W.J. Gagne Drugs Limited, as holder of Certificate of Accreditation #303221 for Romana Pharmacy in Keswick, Ontario,

  • Failed to keep records required to be kept by the pharmacy respecting the patients and the practice of the pharmacy
  • Falsified a record of the pharmacy
  • Signed or issued a document that contained a false or misleading statement
  • Submitted an account or charge which was false or misleading
  • Charged a fee or an amount that was excessive in relation to the service or product provided
  • Contravened the Act or the regulations made under the Act, and in particular, sections 150, 155 and/or 156 of the Act, and/or sections 54, 55, 56 and/or 57 of O.Reg. 58/11
  • Contravened a law of Canada or Ontario or any municipal by-law with respect to the distribution, purchase, sale or dispensing of any drugs or product in a pharmacy, and in particular, section 9 of the Food and Drugs Act, R.S.C. 1985, c.F-27, as amended; section C.01.041 of the Food and Drug Regulations, C.R.C., c. 870, as amended; sections 9 and/or 10 of the Drug Interchangeability and Dispensing Fee Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.P.23, as amended; sections 5, 6 and/or 15 of the Ontario Drug Benefit Act, R.S.O. 1990, C.O.10, as amended, and/or sections 27 and/or 29 of O.Reg.201/96, as amended
  • Engaged in conduct or performed an act relevant to the business of a pharmacy that would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful

The Panel imposed an Order which included as follows:

  1. A reprimand, to be scheduled within six months of the date of the Order.
  2. Directing the Registrar to impose specified terms, conditions or limitations on the Member’s Certificate of Registration requiring:
    1. that the Member shall complete successfully, at his own expense and within twelve (12) months of the date of this Order, the ProBE Program on Professional/Problem Based Ethics for Healthcare Professionals, with an unconditional pass;
    2. that the Registrar is empowered, in her discretion, to grant a request for an extension of time to complete the remedial steps set out in subparagraph 2(a), if the Registrar is of the view that it would be in the interests of fairness to do so and that it would not be contrary to the College’s mandate to serve and protect the public interest; and
    3. that the Member shall be prohibited from acting as the Designated Manager at any pharmacy for a period of two (2) years from the date of this Order.
  3. Directing the Registrar to impose specified terms, conditions or limitations on the Certificate of Accreditation for Romana Pharmacy requiring that the practice of pharmacy and related business activities at Romana Pharmacy be monitored by the College for a period of two (2) years from the date of this Order by means of inspections of a representative of the College at such times as the College may determine.The monitoring inspections may be in addition to any of the routine inspections conducted by the College pursuant to the authority of section 148 of the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act.Pharmacy staff shall cooperate fully with the College during the inspections.The Pharmacy shall pay to the College in respect of such monitoring the amount of $1,000.00 per inspection, such amount to be paid immediately after each inspection, with the total number of inspections for which the Pharmacy is required to pay, not to exceed four (4) regardless of the number of inspections.
  4. Directing the Registrar to suspend the Member’s Certificate of Registration for a period of three (3) months, with one (1) month of the suspension to be remitted on condition the Member complete the remedial training program as specified in subparagraph 2(a) above.The suspension shall commence on November 2, 2017 and continue without interruption until January 1, 2018, inclusive.If the remitted portion of the suspension has to be served, the further suspension shall commence on October 27, 2018 and continue without interruption until November 26, 2018, inclusive, unless the time for completing the remedial steps in subparagraph 2(a) above is extended by the Registrar, in which case, the date on which the remitted portion of the suspension shall commence, if required, shall be adjusted accordingly.

Costs to the College in the amount of $20,000.00.

A reprimand in this matter will be administered on March 9, 2018, at the Ontario College of Pharmacists at 9:30AM.