NYC Pharmacist License Defense Lawyer
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.
For starters, here are the basics of how the New York disciplinary process operates when pharmacists are accused of wrongdoing.
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 occurences 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- Maintaining outdated drugs in the pharmacy’s drug stock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
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.
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.
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 depends 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 to always consult 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.