Canada: Pharma In Brief: Ordre des Pharmaciens du Quebec Interprets Scope of ''remuneration to which the pharmacist is entitled''

Case: Loiselle c Audette [Loiselle c Audette, 2013 CanLII 31826 (QC CDOPQ)]
Nature of case: Disciplinary Hearing
Date of decision: June 4, 2013


This decision rendered by the Order of Pharmacists of Quebec ("OPQ") disciplinary committee further clarifies and limits the scope of article 50 of the Code of ethics of pharmacists, R.R.Q. c. P-10 r.7, namely, permissible benefits relating to the practice of pharmacy. The OPQ disciplinary committee found that compensation paid out to a pharmacist in exchange for patient information was not permitted under article 50 of the Code of ethics of pharmacists.


Mr. Audette, a pharmacist and member of the OPQ, was accused of having violated three separate articles of the Code of ethics of pharmacists: articles 50, 62 and 66, during the period of March 12, 2010 to January 31, 2012:

  1. Mr. Audette "illegally" received a benefit in the practice of pharmacy in the form of a payment in exchange for submitting to RxCanada inc. the names and information of patients taking a certain drug. Compensation was 6.10$ per patient. This was a violation of article 50 of the Code of ethics of pharmacists.
  2. Mr. Audette failed to preserve the secrecy of confidential information obtained in the practice of pharmacy having sent information, including names and addresses, of patients taking a certain drug to RxCanada inc. without the consent of his patients. This was a violation of article 62 of the Code of ethics of pharmacists.
  3. Mr. Audette failed to take reasonable measures with respect to his employees and personnel to ensure that the secrecy of confidential information is preserved. This was a violation of article 66 of the Code of ethics of pharmacists.

Mr. Audette, by way of his lawyer, plead guilty to all three accusations.


Mr. Audette agreed to participate in a program offered by RxCanada inc. This program was to offer free information and educational material to patients. The disciplinary committee agreed that this, itself, did not violate the Code of ethics of pharmacists.

Where Mr. Audette was deemed to be off-side the Code of ethics of pharmacists was in his implementation of his obligations under the agreement to participate in this program, namely the breach of his obligation to preserve the confidentiality of patients' information, and, as will be discussed below, receiving compensation for the names and information he submitted to RxCanada inc.

Without their consent, Mr. Audette's pharmacy sent confidential information pertaining to 59 of his patients (information including names, addresses, illnesses and medication being taken) to RxCanada inc. This constituted a violation of articles 62 and 66 of the Code of ethics of pharmacists.

Further to this privacy breach, Mr. Audette also violated the Code of ethics of pharmacists in receiving compensation for the transfer of the aforementioned confidential information. The total amount received by Mr. Audette for his participation in the RxCanada inc. program was 359.90$ ( at 6.10$ per name, 59 names provided to RxCanada inc.)

Article 50 of the Code of ethics of pharmacists reads as follows:

50. No pharmacist may accept a benefit relating to the practice of pharmacy, over and above remuneration to which the pharmacist is entitled. Customary tokens of appreciation and gifts of small value may, however, be accepted.

No pharmacist may pay, offer to pay or undertake to pay a benefit to any person in relation to the practice of the profession.


The disciplinary committee of the OPQ addressed the privacy breach and remuneration violations separately.

With respect to the privacy violations, there was no proof of consent by the patients to having their confidential information sent to RxCanada inc. Mr. Audette plead guilty to having violated articles 62 and 66 of the Code of ethics of pharmacists. He was condemned to pay a total of 2,500$ for both infractions.

With respect to the compensation received by Mr. Audette in exchange for sending the names to RxCanada inc., the disciplinary committee was of the opinion that Mr. Audette knew or should have known that it is prohibited to receive a benefit outside of what was allowed pursuant to article 50 of the Code of ethics of pharmacists, namely, "remuneration to which the pharmacist is entitled."

The disciplinary committee levied what it deemed a heavy fine of 1,500$ on Mr. Audette for this infraction explaining that the highly publicized August 31, 2010 decision (find link below) was issued by the disciplinary committee within the period during which the above activities took place. This decision found that the volume discounts given to the pharmacist, Mr. Archambault, by pharmaceutical companies were considered to be outside the scope of the "remuneration to which the pharmacist is entitled."


The OPQ, by way of this decision, has clarified that the scope of what would fall within "remuneration to which the pharmacist is entitled" excludes compensation paid to pharmacists in exchange for patient information. Such compensation would constitute a prohibited benefit. Companies entering into such agreements with pharmacists in Quebec should be aware that such compensation is prohibited under article 50 of the Code of ethics of pharmacists. Without providing guidance as to the full scope of article 50, the decision provides a further example of what would be considered to fall outside the scope of "remuneration to which the pharmacist is entitled."

Link to decision

Loiselle c Audette, 2013 CanLII 31826 (QC CDOPQ)]

Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Norton Rose Fulbright is a global legal practice. We provide the world's pre-eminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service. We have more than 3800 lawyers based in over 50 cities across Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

Recognized for our industry focus, we are strong across all the key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; and life sciences and healthcare.

Wherever we are, we operate in accordance with our global business principles of quality, unity and integrity. We aim to provide the highest possible standard of legal service in each of our offices and to maintain that level of quality at every point of contact.

Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, Norton Rose Fulbright Australia, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa (incorporated as Deneys Reitz Inc) and Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, each of which is a separate legal entity, are members ('the Norton Rose Fulbright members') of Norton Rose Fulbright Verein, a Swiss Verein. Norton Rose Fulbright Verein helps coordinate the activities of the Norton Rose Fulbright members but does not itself provide legal services to clients.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions