Filing a complaint

Filing a complaint

The Alberta College of Pharmacists encourages patients who have concerns about the pharmacy services they receive to discuss the matter directly with the pharmacist.

If necessary, patients may ask to speak to the pharmacy licensee. Every pharmacy has a licensee who is required to administer quality assurance processes within the pharmacy and is responsible for the policies and procedures at the pharmacy. The Alberta College of Pharmacists requires pharmacy licensees to respond directly to patient concerns.

If you are still concerned after speaking with the pharmacist and/or pharmacy licensee, you may speak to a member of our Complaints Department to confirm if the Alberta College of Pharmacists has jurisdiction in the matter, and to discuss how best to resolve your concerns.

The Alberta College of Pharmacists responds to concerns about:

  • a pharmacist’s or pharmacy technician's practice, or
  • a pharmacy's operations.

The Alberta College of Pharmacists does not regulate pharmacy matters pertaining to customer service, prescription pricing/refunds, or compensation. If your concerns relate to one of these areas, in addition to speaking directly with the pharmacy licensee, you may wish to contact the pharmacy’s corporate office.

How to file a complaint

If after speaking with a member of the Complaints Department, it is determined that a formal complaint is necessary, you would take the following steps:

  1. Obtain a copy of the Complaint Reporting Form by calling the college office at 1-877-227-3838 or 780-990-0321.
  2. Send your completed, dated, and signed report to the college: 

Attn: Complaints Department
Alberta College of Pharmacists
1100-8215 112 St. NW
Edmonton, AB   T6G 2C8

The Health Professions Act requires that complaints be submitted in writing and signed.  You may mail or fax us a letter, or submit your complaint on our Complaint Reporting Form.

The Complaints Director will review your written statement. If necessary, the Complaints Director will appoint a preliminary investigator to look into the allegations. You will receive correspondence from the Complaints Director to inform you of the decision concerning your complaint.

What is the complaints review process?

When the Complaints Director receives a written complaint, he may:

  • encourage the complainant and the investigated person to communicate with each other and resolve the complaint;
  • attempt to resolve the complaint (with the consent of the complainant and the investigated person);
  • refer the complaint to an alternative complaint resolution process;
  • request an expert to assess and provide a written report on the matter of the complaint;
  • conduct, or appoint an investigator to conduct an investigation;
  • dismiss the complaint, if satisfied that it is trivial or vexatious;
  • dismiss the complaint, if satisfied that there is insufficient or no evidence of unprofessional conduct.
If a complaint is investigated:

Once the investigation is complete, the Complaints Director decides whether a complaint should be dismissed or referred for a hearing.

If alternative complaint resolution is used:

When alternative complaint resolution is used, the complaint is either successfully resolved through mediation or is referred back to the Complaints Director for resolution.


FAQs

Yes, your complaint, including your name, is shared with the pharmacist or pharmacy technician so that the he or she can respond.
No, you cannot be sued for filing a complaint; however, divulging details of your complaint to others in writing or verbally may constitute libel or slander, placing you at risk for legal action.
No. If financial compensation is your objective, you should obtain the advice of a lawyer and consider filing a civil law suit.
There is no set time limit. The length of the investigation tends to vary with the complexity of the complaint. Some complaints can be handled very quickly, others take months. Some complaints take over a year to resolve.
If you have a question or concern about the fairness of how your complaint was handled, you may contact the Alberta Ombudsman Office:

The Alberta Ombudsman
2800, 10303 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, AB  T5J 5C3

ACP Complaints Resolution contact information

Alberta College of Pharmacists
1100-8215 112 St. NW
Edmonton, AB   T6G 2C8

Phone: 780-990-0321
Toll Free: 1-877-227-3838
Fax: 780-990-0328