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BC health ministry fires sixth person in data investigation

A sixth person has been fired in the ministry of health's investigation that minister Margaret MacDiarmid has said is related to potential conflicts of interest, contracting and responsible data management.

The ministry had previously fired five people and suspended researchers Rebecca Warburton and Malcolm Maclure. Maclure has filed a civil lawsuit saying he had been constructively dismissed and is seeking damages.

"I know we talked about this last week, but it has happened now," MacDiarmid said in a voice message this morning.

Since it is a personnel matter, there was little more she could say about it, she said, but added, "All the people who've been terminated from the ministry have been informed in writing."

Last week in an interview MacDiarmid mentioned the termination of a sixth person, but a ministry spokesperson called back a few minutes later to say the minister had been incorrect.

Warburton could not immediately be reached.

The people involved in the investigation were working on projects related to PharmaCare and assessing the evidence on various drugs. The investigation resulted in the stoppage of various contracts, including ones to the Therapeutics Initiative at the University of B.C..

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Find him on Twitter or reach him here.

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