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It takes hard work and diligence to become a pharmacist. The recent increase in disciplinary actions, regulations, and criminal allegations exposes pharmacists to a myriad of litigation issues. Pharmacists stand to lose their license if charged with any of these crimes. Hiring an experienced pharmacist defense lawyer is crucial to defending and securing your license during a disciplinary hearing or an investigation.
When do you need a pharmacist license defense attorney?
Pharmacist defense attorneys represent clients who face the following issues:
• Drug diversion
• Administrative complaints
• Pharmacy inspections
• License matters (applications, reinstatement, renewals and appeals).
• Pharmacy permits
• Board of Pharmacy hearing
• Disciplinary actions
• Prescription issues
• Pharmacy contracts and startups
• Substance abuse
• Violation of regulations
The license complaint process
It is important for pharmacists to be aware of the laws surrounding the complaint process so as to remain compliant. When a complaint is filed against a pharmacist, the board reviews the claim. They first seek to establish if there is sufficient evidence before they allow for a formal complaint to be filed. If the board fails to find a probable cause that can warrant a violation, then the investigation is dropped. If they find sufficient evidence, the Board files an administrative formal complaint.
Administrative complaints are filed with the licensing and regulatory body, or the Department of Health. When an allegation that seeks to revoke a license is filed, the licensee can request a hearing with the board. The request is time bound and should be filed within 21 days. Failure to file within the stipulated time is deemed as a waiver to your constitutional right to a hearing. When you receive a formal complaint, it is in your best interest to schedule a consultation with a pharmacist defense attorney. Remember that there is a very short grace period before the board takes action.
The investigative process
Facing the board of investigation is not a matter to be taken lightly. However, if you work with a good defense lawyer, you can avoid a formal action against you. The process of investigation begins when a formal complaint is received. It is important to note that these complaints can be filed by anyone. In most cases, the allegations are made by employers, customers, colleagues or even disgruntled friends and family members. Complaints filed against pharmacy technicians and pharmacies are handed over to state investigators. These experts are tasked with conducting a preliminary investigation and reporting back to the board for action. If you receive a letter or call from the investigator, you need to speak to a license defense attorney. Most times, pharmacists opt to speak with the investigators in an effort to settle the matter, however, they end up incriminating themselves. It is advisable to consult with the lawyer prior to talking to the investigator.
A license defense lawyer will handle the investigator in an effort to settle the matter and avoid formal action against you or your pharmacy. Their experience and expertise can work in your favor to avoid a license suspension or revocation.