Joelle Mbamy, owner of Sunrise Pharmacy, is being investigated by the B.C. College of Pharmacists. (Western News file photo)

Joelle Mbamy, owner of Sunrise Pharmacy, is being investigated by the B.C. College of Pharmacists. (Western News file photo)

Penticton pharmacist denies wrongdoing in overdose death of employee

Sunrise Pharmacy owner still under interim order from the College of Pharmacists of B.C.

A Penticton pharmacist has filed a court petition to remove an order by the College of Pharmacists of B.C., which prevents her from dispensing narcotics or controlled drug substances and compounding medications.

Joelle Mbamy, owner of Sunrise Pharmacy, is being investigated by the licensing, public safety and regulating board after an interim order was made on May 23 that prevents her from offering what she describes as the majority of her services, dispensing any narcotic or controlled drug substance intended for opioid agnoist treatment, until a disciplinary hearing.

Mbamy came under investigation after allegations she was preparing and dispensing intravenous drug products under “unsanitary conditions” and after a teenage employee died from a suspected overdose. None of the allegations have been proven.

READ MORE: Penticton pharmacy restricted from dispensing opioid treatment drugs

Mbamy said in her court filed petition that she also believes the order was based on a past employee who died from a methadone overdose.

“Ms. Mbamy says that the numerous complaints made against her by the college are, at best, spurious in nature, and designed to give the impression that her pharmacy, the Sunrise Pharmacy, is somehow guilty of misconduct when it is not,” said the court petition filed by her legal counsel.

READ MORE: Penticton pharmacist gets $1k fine, 10-year animal prohibition

The court documents revealed that on Sept. 19, 2017, a 15-year-old male died as a result of a methadone overdose and Mbamy said the college concluded that the teen obtained the narcotics from Sunrise Pharmacy prior to his death after finding a one-litre bottle of methadone, 10 mg/ml cherry flavoured solution, was found stored in an unlocked cabinet 14 months after he died.

Mbamy claims the teen’s death, which occurred a year and a half before the interim order, was thoroughly investigated and determined conclusively by RCMP that she was no way involved. Penticton RCMP told the Western News that they believed the file was still open with the BC Coroners Service.

Mbamy stated in the claim that the college’s interim order has made her ability to practice as a pharmacist impossible. She said regardless of any further decision by the college, and that if she is cleared of any wrongdoing, it still has created an economic consequence as 80 per cent of her income is based on the distribution of methadone. The petition states that at no point in time that Mbamy was advised that the inquiry committee of the college was considering suspending her registration as a pharmacist, nor was she allowed to be heard by the committee.

She claims that she is not aware of any instance where she has wrongly dispensed medication to a patient or caused any harm to the health of any patient.

In the court file petition, Mbamy stated the order against was also based on the fact she was once guilty of mistreating dogs.

In 2018, Mbamy pleaded guilty to an animal cruelty charge and was sentenced to a $1,000 fine and a 10-year prohibition against owning animals.

“Ms. Mbamy paid the fine, amongst other reasons, not because she believed she was guilty, but to avoid the expense of legal fees—the fine was cheaper than her lawyers’ bills, it was an economic analysis,” it stated in the petition.

To show that she does abide by the college’s rulings and legislation, Mbamy explained in the petition how she complied with their demand that she shut down a needle buy-back program she created as a way to help clean up the community.

Mbamy, who is originally from Cameroon, with French as her first language, said she was never asked by investigators if she required assistance in the French or would like to retain legal counsel. She was trained as a pharmacist in Belgium and registered as a pharmacist with the college in 1997 after passing a qualifying exam and completed an internship in Prince George. Sunrise Pharmacy opened its doors in 2002 in Penticton.

The Western News contacted the College of Pharmacists of B.C. who said at this time a discipline hearing has not been scheduled. Mbamy did not respond to a request for comment.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
editor@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Interior Health reports 2 more deaths, 83 new COVID-19 cases

Health authority also identifies new virus cluster in Fernie

Oliver Town Hall (Town of Oliver Facebook).
Call for local artists to design centennial logo for Oliver

The Town of Oliver will be celebrating 100 years in 2021

Vaseux Lake in winter. (Facebook)
Dogs rescued after falling through ice on Vaseux Lake

Good Samaritans saved the trapped dogs

“My grandma always just said…making people smile is the most important thing,” says Nicholas Kruger. (Chehala Leonard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Entrepreneur Nicholas Kruger nominated as Okanagan community changemaker

With humour and knowledge, Nicholas Kruger says it’s important to give back

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Crown prosecutors have stayed attempted murder charges against Kelowna’s Jesse Pez. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Man accused in Kelowna Halloween stabbing has attempted murder charge stayed

The Crown only proceeds with charges when evidence provides ‘a substantial likelihood of conviction’

RCMP released this photo on Jan. 27, 2021 of Terrance Jones, 40, a Caucasian man with a closely shaved head, brown eyes, dirty blonde or brown hair, and a thin mustache and beard. The inside of his right arm is covered in tattoos, including one of a face. (Kamloops RCMP photo)
RCMP want public’s help to locate Shuswap man wanted on charge of attempted murder

Sicamous man was arrested previously on Jan. 11 for allegedly breaching conditions of release

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Vernon’s Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
COVID-19: Two more deaths at Vernon’s Noric House

Total deaths climb to 17 at local long-term care outbreaks

Most Read