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The job of a pharmacist is to fill prescriptions, provide pertinent information to their clients, and essentially assist doctors in saving lives through the use of prescription medication. Their job requires years of schooling, extensive training, and the ability to obtain a state license by passing an exam. During this time, pharmacists are required to take a medical oath promising they will do their best to care for patients, to work honestly, and to uphold the utmost standards in medical care and ethics. When a pharmacist is accused of criminal activity or violating the state laws governing their profession, they could lose their license.
The Texas Board of Pharmacy takes no accusation lightly, even if the accusation is untrue. It’s come across their desk, and Texas law requires an investigation is opened against the pharmacist accused of misconduct or criminal activity. The investigation is opened to check on several important factors:
– Prevention of misuse of prescription drugs
– Control of distribution of drugs
– Proper skills are being met
– Quality of professional standards
If a pharmacist is found violating any of these, they’re at risk of losing their professional license in Houston. This is when a pharmacist license defense attorney offers expertise regarding the laws governing these investigations. They work to ensure their clients are treated professionally, given the benefit of the doubt at all times, and able to defend themselves throughout the investigation.
Why Might a Pharmacist be Investigated?
There are several reasons someone might file a complaint against a pharmacist, whether it’s true or not. Before getting into those, it’s important to understand anyone can file a complaint. It can be a family member of a pharmacist or a client, a client, a doctor, a vendor of the pharmacy, or even someone who works with the pharmacist. Anyone who suspects there is something illegal or unethical going on with the pharmacist is required to report the information the State Board so an investigation can begin.
– Substance abuse
– Dispensing drugs illegally
– Unprofessional conduct
Fraud encompasses illegally charging customers for prescriptions they didn’t have filled, for too much of a prescription, or falsely billing insurance companies to receive a bigger payout from the insurance company.
Substance abuse means someone suspect a pharmacist is using drugs or alcohol or both while on the job, or abusing them outside the job. It’s illegal to dispense drugs while addicted to or using drugs or alcohol.
Dispensing drugs illegally is dangerous. This means a pharmacist has been accused of dealing illegal prescription drugs to their patients, friends, or clients. They might be giving patients too much of a prescription and taking payment for that under the table, refilling old prescriptions without refill notices, or stealing drugs themselves.
Unprofessional conduct means anything from sexual abuse of a patient to discriminating against a client who comes in looking for a refill or advice.
Negligence is when a patient of a pharmacist is harmed because of the pharmacist’s actions. Perhaps the pharmacist didn’t read the prescription carefully and provides a client with the wrong prescription, too strong of a prescription, or something that might harm their health.
Penalties for Misconduct
There are various penalties in place for Houston pharmacist who violate rights and state law. If a pharmacist is arrested outside of work for a criminal charge that has nothing to do with their career, they risk losing their license or at least seeing it suspended for a time. If an investigation shows the pharmacist is guilty of one of the previously mentioned crimes, several things might occur.
– Jail time
– Suspension or revocation of their license
The most serious crimes are sent to court and a trial is held. However, if a pharmacist suffers from a drug or alcohol abuse issue, they might simply see probation, a suspended license, and required drug or alcohol treatment completion before they can have their license reinstated for practice. If money is stolen, fines are issued, restitution of every stolen penny is issued, and a maximum of five years prison time is issued per offense.
Losing a license as a result of an investigation changes the life of a pharmacist. An experienced attorney can help defend a pharmacist’s license, allowing them to continue living their life and fulfilling their dreams.