Pharmacist License Defense California
It takes years of hard work to obtain the credentials and develop the skills necessary to secure a pharmacy, pharmacist or pharmacist technician license. When allegations of substance abuse, misconduct or other inappropriate behaviors arise, your license, your livelihood and your future may be in jeopardy.
Hiring an experienced license defense attorney is paramount to securing and defending your license during investigations and disciplinary hearings by the California Board of Pharmacy. At S J Harris Law, we can help. S J Harris Law provides strong, effective legal representation to pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacies throughout California from our Los Angeles area office.
Pharmacist License Defense Attorney Serving Pharmacies, Pharmacists And Pharmacy Technicians Throughout California
The California Board of Pharmacy may investigate individual pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacies, attempt to revoke or suspend their licenses and subject them to other disciplinary procedures. Common reasons for disciplinary action include:
- Drug and Alcohol Dependencies
- Criminal Charges and Convictions
- Improperly Filling Prescriptions
- Over-Prescription of Controlled Substances
- Failure to Designate a Pharmacist in Charge
- Inadequate Inventory Records
- Fraudulent Insurance and Medi-Cal Billings
As a former Deputy Attorney General and licensing board prosecutor, Scott J. Harris has unique insight into the inner-workings of licensing agencies. He takes proactive steps to help clients keep their licenses.
California Board Of Pharmacy License Defense
The California Board of Pharmacy is an agency within the California Department of Consumer Affairs. It is charged with regulating Pharmacies, Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians, as well as wholesalers and distributors of pharmaceuticals and devices. Pharmacies, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians must be licensed by the Board to conduct any operations related to operating and working in a pharmacy. All licenses issued by the Board of Pharmacy are subject to professional standards, strict laws regarding patient confidentiality, ethical and fiduciary duties, and State and Federal laws governing Pharmacy.
The Board of Pharmacy may deny a license to a pharmacist, pharmacy technician or to a pharmacy, if certain educational, background or other information is incomplete, or if it evidences unfitness to be associated with the pharmacy profession. This may include past disciplinary records, criminal convictions, or findings by a regulatory agency that the party has failed to meet professional standards.
A pharmacy may not always be owned by a pharmacist. In this scenario, the pharmacy must have a designated pharmacist-in-charge (PIC). Any and all actions, failures, breaches of the law by the pharmacy are the responsibility of the pharmacist and any non-pharmacy licensee owners. It is imperative that all pharmacist, pharmacy assistants, and pharmacies maintain proper protocols, the account of drugs and devises in possession of the pharmacy, and proper supervision over the conduct of employees in the pharmacy.
Common Pharmacy Board Violations:
- Criminal Convictions of Pharmacist or Pharmacy Assistant.
- Violation of professional standards, including failure to account for controlled substances or failure to dispense proper medication.
- Failure by the pharmacy or pharmacist to maintain proper logs, records, and accounts.
- Fraud by the pharmacy in billing insurance for reimbursement.
- Diversion of narcotics or other controlled substances or devices by the pharmacist, pharmacy technician, or pharmacy employee.
- Substance Abuse Issues, including receipts of DUIs by licensees of the Board of Pharmacy.
Board of Pharmacy License Denial
The Board of Pharmacy can deny an application for pharmacy licensure for several reasons. Once an applicant first applies for a pharmacy license, the applicant must submit their fingerprints along with their application. These fingerprints are used to run a criminal history check on the applicant to see if there is a prior criminal record. If the applicant has a prior criminal history, then the Board of Pharmacy may deny a pharmacy license if the Board of Pharmacy finds that the crime is substantially related to the functions, qualifications, and duties of the business of the pharmacy profession.
Convictions that are dismissed due to expungement and convictions that are more than seven years old cannot be considered by the board in determining whether to grant an application for a pharmacy license. If the prior conviction was a serious felony as defined under Section 1192.7 of the California Penal Code or the crime requires registration, then the seven-year rule does not apply, and the Board can consider these offenses in determining whether to grant a pharmacy license.
Board of Pharmacy Accusation
When a pharmacy licensee is accused of misconduct, the Board of Pharmacy can investigate the allegations. The Board can initiate disciplinary proceedings to determine if the accusation is proven against a pharmacy license holder. During this hearing, a licensee can present evidence in his or her defense and can have an attorney represent them. If a licensee is found responsible for misconduct, then the Board has a variety of options in determining sanctions. The licensee can present evidence of rehabilitation, letters of support, and other information for the Board to consider when determining sanction. The Board can privately admonish a license, can publicly admonish a licensee, can suspend a licensee, and can revoke a pharmacy license for any findings of misconduct that are against the Board’s rules.
Board of Pharmacy Investigation
When a complaint is filed with the California Board of Pharmacy, the Board will conduct an investigation if the complaint is within the Board’s jurisdiction. The Board states that they strive to complete most investigations within six months. Complex cases can take even longer to investigate. Upon the completion of the investigation, then the Board can decide to dismiss the complaint or file misconduct charges which can result in pharmacy license sanctions.
Complaints are confidential, and the Board does not have any authority over drug prices or billing issues with health insurance companies. If someone writes a request to the Board regarding information about the outcome of a complaint, then the Board can give the requestor:
- The date the Board received the complaint,
- A summary of the investigation, and
- The final outcome or discipline issued against the licensee, if any.
You have the right to an attorney if you are being investigated for misconduct.
By Your Side Every Step Of The Way
Clients turn to S J Harris Law for representation during all stages of their California Board of Pharmacy license defense. From initial investigations to formal actions through Accusations and Statement of Issues, administrative hearings, and appeals to the superior court, we will stand by your side every step of the way.
Contact Los Angeles lawyer Scott J. Harris for help defending your pharmacy license. Together, we will protect your license and your livelihood. Call our office at 323-370-6139 for a free 30-minute consultation.