Pharmacist’s License Suspended After Losing Controlled Substances, Patient Records
The job of a pharmacist is not an easy one. Pharmacists deal with various types of medications, and, as such, are heavily scrutinized. They must keep accurate inventory and have access to patient records. When they claim to lose medications or personal information of customers, they can face serious penalties, such as license suspension.
This was what happened to a pharmacist who opened a community pharmacy to bring medications and other services to an underserved community. After 13 years and a decline in activity, she closed down the pharmacy. The pharmacist provided notice to the board staff that the pharmacist was in the process of closing the pharmacy. The board staff provided the pharmacist with the board’s requirements that that had to be satisfied as a part of the closing of the pharmacy.
However, while she was in the process of shutting down the pharmacy and terminating the lease, the pharmacist lost custody of the pharmacy’s patient records and controlled substances. She failed to let the Board of Pharmacy, DEA, or any state-level officials know that the pharmacist had lost possession of the patient records and controlled substances. An administrative proceeding was filed against her pharmacy license based upon her failure to comply with the Board’s requirements.
At the administrative hearing, the pharmacist admitted that she had failed to comply with the Board’s requirements. The pharmacist presented testimony from leaders in the community who attested to the pharmacist’s reputation in the community in which she had practiced for more than thirty years.
The hearing officer agreed that there was no evidence that the pharmacist was intending to harm anyone by the violations. The hearing officer also concluded that the pharmacist had proved that she had a longstanding commitment to help the underserved community. However, the hearing officer concluded that the pharmacist had committed nine violations. The recommended punishment was three years of probation.
The Board of Pharmacy agreed that the pharmacist had violated the state laws that regulated pharmacists. However, the Board did not agree with the discipline recommended by the hearing officer. The Board imposed a one-year license suspension, followed by three years of probation.
The pharmacist filed an appeal asking the court to review the increased penalty by the Board of Pharmacy. The appeal focused on two main questions: (1) Was there substantial evidence involved that supports the decision? (2) Did the board make any legal errors in reaching its decision?
It was agreed the pharmacist was negligent in her actions. She committed multiple violations, and should have known what was required of her, considering that she had practiced pharmacy for 36 years. Also, the Board of Pharmacy can consider the hearing officer’s proposed sanctions based on the facts of the case. However, the appeals court confirmed that the Board had the legal authority to impose the sanctions that it considered appropriate given the violations committed by the pharmacist.
Keep Your License With Help From a Tampa Pharmacist License & Pharmacy Permit Lawyer
Pharmacists work with addictive medications and customers’ personal information. When these items are misplaced or lost, it shows a lack of responsibility and can lead to issues surrounding fraud and theft.
A pharmacist in this situation can face licensing issues. Protect your license and livelihood with Tampa pharmacist license & pharmacy permit lawyer David P. Rankin. Schedule a consultation today by calling (813) 968-6633 or filling out the online form.