This is the first post in my newest series regarding defending your pharmacist’s license before the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy (the Board). It can be stressful and frightening to face complaints or other problems involving your professional license and correspondingly your livelihood.
This series will cover the following topics:
- Addiction and drug abuse leading to discipline
- ADA protection afforded those suffering from addiction
- Resolving your disciplinary matter with the Board and seeking treatment
There are a few common ways pharmacists can find themselves facing discipline. Falsifying, duplicating or altering prescriptions, and drug abuse are very common causes for pharmacists to suffer possible loss of their license. As you can see, this series is largely concerned with pharmacists who are suffering from drug abuse and addiction. You can face disciplinary action by the board whether or not you accessed the drugs through the pharmacy, and whether or not your drug use impacted your job performance.
After the Board receives a complaint it will assign a compliance officer to contact the party who filed the complaint. This officer will investigate the original complaint and will contact both the pharmacy and the pharmacist in question for additional information. It is imperative that you discuss your license with a qualified Arizona licensing attorney before you speak to the compliance officer investigating your matter.
Upon conclusion of his or her investigation the compliance officer will submit a written report to the Deputy Director of the Board. The Deputy Director will do a search to determine whether or not the pharmacy or the pharmacist in question has a history of complaints. All results are then submitted to the Board of Pharmacy Rule Committee. The Rule Committee will review all materials and make a recommendation. The recommendations may include:
- Dismissal – no violation found
- Issue an Advisory Letter – there is information indicating a violation, but it is of a relatively minor nature and can be corrected with minimal Board action
- Convene a Board Conference – the licensee is called before the board in a live hearing to explain his or her actions and corrective measures are outlined
- Administrative Hearing or Consent Agreement – a preponderance of evidence exists to show incompetence, willful neglect and endangerment to the public health, safety and welfare on the part of the licensee and action is taken against the license
It is important if you are facing a complaint to the Board that you obtain counsel experienced with Arizona licensing issues and administrative hearings. This can mean the difference between dismissal or a resolution involving corrective measures and the loss of your license. I understand that your license is a matter of pride and your primary means of support. As an experienced Phoenix licensing attorney, I can help you navigate the process. Contact my office today for more information. In addition to Phoenix, I represent those in other Maricopa County cities such as Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Chandler, and Gilbert. I also assist Pima County residents in Tucson.