24/7 call for a free consultation 212-300-5196




When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

NYC Pharmacist License Defense Attorneys

New York Pharmacist License Lawyer

Our team has been defending New York pharmacists in disciplinary actions for more than a decade. We have successfully argued for hundreds of pharmacists in front of the New York Board of Pharmacists and the New York State Department of Education Office of Professional Discipline, with fantastic results to show for our clients.

Understanding the Disciplinary Process

Every licensed pharmacist in the State of New York who becomes the subject of a disciplinary complaint comes under the jurisdiction of the State Department of Education Office of Professional Discipline (OPD). The OPD retains the authority to investigate and prosecute pharmacists and many other licensed professionals for what the state law lists as occurrences of professional misconduct. The complete list is rather extensive, covering almost forty offenses. Here are some of the most common examples of professional misconduct amongst New York pharmacists that we have seen:

  • Conviction for any crime in any jurisdiction
  • Fraudulent practices
  • Abuse of controlled substances
  • Keeping numerous misbranded or expired medications for sale
  • Maintaining outdated drugs in the pharmacy’s drug stock
  • Theft of medications from the pharmacy
  • Unauthorized removal of medications from the pharmacy for personal use
  • Failure to establish sufficient supervision of a pharmacy
  • Allowing unlicensed and unauthorized persons to work in the pharmacy
  • Selling drugs that have not been approved by the FDA
  • Failing to inform the Pharmacy Board when there is a change of supervisor or supervising pharmacist
  • Commingling food with medication in the pharmacy refrigerator
  • Failing to maintain a thermometer in the pharmacy refrigerator
  • Failing to maintain a biennial controlled drug inventory
  • Getting prescription-required medication without authorization

Initiation of Disciplinary Cases

There are a number of ways disciplinary cases against pharmacists may come about. Many start when a complaint gets filed with the Board of Pharmacy. Many cases get launched after routine pharmacy inspections and audits. Potential misconduct that comes to the attention of the board triggers the involvement of the Office of Professional Discipline and at some point the targeted pharmacist gets a letter saying that they are being investigated for misconduct and that they are to report for the interview with the investigator.

One important detail to understand is that as a licensee, pharmacists are obligated to comply with an investigator for the most part, but he or she is not obligated to talk or interview with the investigator. In actuality, we consistently recommend against it and strongly suggest that our pharmacists exercise their right to speak with an attorney and to secure legal counsel before discussing anything with anyone, especially the OPD investigator. This is primarily because anything you say to the investigator can and will be used against you and you are highly likely to unwittingly make damaging statements during an interview. Discussing your matter with an experienced OPD attorney who has also handled cases involving pharmacists before you speak with the investigator may literally save your license to practice.

Investigation and Legal Process

At the conclusion of the investigation, an Investigative Committee decides whether or not there is enough evidence in the file for the legal basis to press disciplinary charges against the pharmacist. If the evidence is insufficient, the case gets dismissed. If the evidence is sufficient, the assigned prosecutor will notify your attorney and that begins the long process which will result either in a consent agreement between the pharmacist and the board or in a full disciplinary hearing. In some respects, this resembles the procedure in criminal cases where the defendant has the right to go to trial but may alternatively work out a plea bargain with the government.

Potential Penalties and Results

In pharmacist disciplinary matters, the state inflicts a variety of penalties on a pharmacist. The most severe of them all is license surrender or revocation. Other possible actions include license suspension, both actual and stayed, probation, censure and reprimand, mental and drug evaluation and treatment, and monetary penalties.

The results of a disciplinary case depend on numerous factors. Clearly, when your professional license, your livelihood, and your whole career are on the line, having it all taken away from you is not an option. That is the reason we recommend always consulting with an experienced lawyer as early in the process as possible. Make certain that the attorney you decide to enlist has represented pharmacists before the Pharmacy Board and the Office of Professional Discipline. There are thousands of good lawyers practicing, but when it comes to the highly specialized area of pharmacist representation in OPD cases, you should get someone with expertise and a solid track record. You will be able to access those kinds of attorneys at our office.

We have achieved excellent results over the years of standing for pharmacists in New York City and New York State. We lend our experience as well as personalized service and reasonable flat fees in the majority of the cases we take. Give us a call today for an immediate consultation with a New York pharmacy license defense attorney.

The Importance of Legal Representation for Pharmacists in New York

As a pharmacist, you are an essential part of the healthcare chain, and it is your role to ensure that people get the best care. However, this importance also comes with some degree of oversight. In every state, including New York, there is a disciplinary board that has the responsibility of regulating the functions of pharmacists and is in charge of distributing licenses. This board also has the power to investigate the performance and conduct of licensed pharmacists. In a nutshell, the board has a lot of power, and you should be careful not to give the board a reason to launch an investigation into your professional conduct. If you do so, you risk jeopardizing your career.

In case you are accused of professional misconduct, inappropriate action, or abuse, you should engage an NYC defense attorney to secure your future in any disciplinary hearing or investigation. You need powerful and effective legal representation when your livelihood and reputation as a pharmacist are at risk.

New York Pharmacist Investigation Procedure

Pharmacists in New York are subject to discipline for any misconduct by the State Department of Education in the Office of Professional Discipline or OPD. Investigations can be launched if there is a complaint or after a criminal conviction. Whatever the case, the stakes are very high, and you cannot afford to take a wrong turn. During the investigation, you will be contacted by an OPD detective by a letter, and as a licensee, you are obligated to comply fully. This means that you should submit any documents upon request by the investigator. However, you are not allowed to speak to the investigator about your case. Investigators will also demand that you submit all records and interview witnesses. Therefore, before you submit any information that has been requested by the investigator, make sure you have reviewed it carefully with your attorney.

Cases of misconduct are often investigated with audit investigations by different agencies in case you are suspected of participating in fraud, violation of substance control, substandard care, and other issues. You should remember that any information and statements that you submit in the course of a misconduct investigation can be used by other agencies. Therefore, for the best results, consult an attorney who has experience in all the aspects covered in a health care investigation.

A good lawyer can, in some cases, convince the OPD on your behalf to terminate the investigation process without effect. However, if the investigator believes that the evidence compiled is enough, they will create a report and submit it to the investigative committee. At this point, a prosecutor takes over the case, and your attorney can deal with them to try and resolve the matter. In some cases, the prosecutor can agree to settle. Your attorney will examine the proposal from the prosecutor and advise you on the best options so that you can make an informed decision.

If the evidence submitted to the board proves that you committed offenses, chances are that you will be excluded from some programs, be prosecuted, and fined heavily. As a pharmacist, you should be aware that you may be liable for fraud if it is proved that you willingly allowed another person to commit fraud. Therefore, if you are concerned about any allegations of drug violation or fraud, you should get an experienced attorney. Your lawyer will help you set up a compliance program and create a mechanism that will minimize the occurrence of any violations by early detection, effective correction, and prevention.

Depending on the nature of your misconduct, the board can also decide to permanently revoke your license. This is the worst-case scenario, and you will need a strong response if you want the board to reconsider its decision. A license revocation means that you will have to wait for a span of three years before applying to get reinstated. During the three years, you should work to prove to the board that you have repented and have rehabilitated your old ways. Your actions should prove that you will not repeat such a mistake again in the future. You should also prove that you have still retained your knowledge. The most important thing is to show that you are remorseful for your previous actions and do not attempt to argue with the board about its decision. Your lawyer can assist you in every step on what to do.

One tricky part of this process is that after the investigation or after your license has been terminated in New York, you can be investigated by the boards in other states that you hold a license. This means that it is impossible to move from New York to other cities or states to practice or apply for a new license. All boards are supposed to share their information to avoid such cases. Being investigated in one state jeopardizes your position with any other state board around the country.

Apart from investigations by the OPD, your license can be affected by investigations by other agencies, including the DEA, FDA, Department of Justice, and other state local law enforcers. The defense process is not easy, and the best decision you can make in your life at this point is to hire an experienced advocate. The earlier you consult one, the better for you to stand a chance to retain your license. Ensure you get a pharmacist defense attorney who can represent you at any stage of the investigation, during criminal prosecutions, appeals, and disciplinary hearings

Schedule Your Consultation Now