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Trending: members of public selling prescribed drugs online

March 21, 2018

The Alberta College of Pharmacists (ACP) has seen reports of Albertans offering for sale prescription medications and nutritional supplements that seem to have been previously dispensed to Alberta pharmacies. Members of the public are using social media channels such as Kijiji and Buy and Sell to sell the medications.

Although ACP does not regulate the conduct of members of the public, pharmacy professionals have asked the college about what can be done when they see social media posts or online ads offering prescription drugs or previously dispensed supplements.

ACP recommends pharmacy professionals contact the police should they become aware that a member of the public is offering for sale a narcotic, a controlled substance, or a targeted substance. This activity may be considered trafficking under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

For other prescription drugs and dispensed supplements, you may wish to provide a safety concern report to Health Canada via their website. Health Canada has enforcement officers in Alberta who routinely follow up with concerns involving the unauthorized sale of prescription drugs.

Should a pharmacy professional suspect that one of their patients is offering for sale prescription drugs or previously dispensed supplements to them, the pharmacy professional should speak directly with the patient and, if necessary, involve other parties such as the physician, Health Canada, the police, and/or the patient’s third-party insurer.