Arizona Board of Pharmacy Complaint Lawyer | Our attorney can assist with a Arizona Pharmacy Board Complaint
Who can file a complaint against a pharmacist? Patients, health care facilities, other professionals, among others. When the Arizona Board of Pharmacy receives a complaint, the Board initiates an investigation into the complaint (if the Board has jurisdiction and the Complaint isn’t dismissed). After this happens, the pharmacist receives notice and the board assigns an investigator to the case. Please note, having an attorney during this step can be crucial for pharmacists as they must submit a response, interview with the investigator while also possibly appearing at an Arizona Board of Pharmacy. Chelle Law offers professional license defense and review for state licensed pharmacy professionals.
Responding to Practice an Arizona Complaint and Investigation
After receiving an Arizona Board of Pharmacy Complaint or self-report, a pharmacist receives a notice from the Board requesting additional information as well as a response to allegations found in the complaint. From here, the Arizona Board of Pharmacy assigns an investigator to the complaint and they begin to collect evidence. The documents and evidence collected includes:
- Patient medical records
- Employment files from the pharmacist’s employer and business
- Criminal records
- Interviews of people associated with the Board Complaint (These interviewees can include the patient, medical director, colleagues, etc.)
Appeals of Arizona State Board Decisions by Attorneys
It’s always disappointing when a pharmacist receives an unfavorable decision from the Arizona Board of Pharmacy (“ABP“). However, pharmacists in Arizona can benefit from understanding the process that goes along with Arizona Board of Pharmacy Appeals and hearings after an Arizona Board of Pharmacy Complaint is heard. If you are facing an unfavorable ABP outcome due to an Arizona Board of Pharmacy Disciplinary Action, you can always appeal the decision.
Filing an Appeal after a Board of Pharmacy Meeting
The investigatory process and the appeal process work like this: The Arizona Board receives a complaint or initiates an investigation into the conduct of the pharmacist. Once the board receives a complaint or self-report they will then initiate an investigation. The purpose of this investigation is to give the AZ Board of Pharmacy evidence to make a decision on whether or not a pharmacist should face disciplinary action. If the pharmacist receives an unfavorable decision, it is at this point they can then file an appeal and request a hearing with the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearing. An Administrative Law Judge will then oversee the appeal and the pharmacist may need to attend a hearing. However, sometimes the investigation is automatically sent to hearing or an informal settlement conference can be held.
Pharmacist Administrative Appeal and Hearing Information
Any pharmacist licensee may request a legal appeal of Arizona State Board Discipline to an administrative law judge with the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) which is located in Phoenix. In some instances, a case is sent automatically to OAH. The OAH hearing is conducted before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The administrative process is not as formal as a trial, but is similar. Each party presents evidence using documents or sworn testimony. Each party also gives an opening and closing argument which should explain why the judge should rule one way or the other. A pharmacist’s attorney can cross examine witnesses and testify on his or her behalf. After it is completed, the ALJ reviews the transcripts, evidence and makes a recommendation. However, the Board makes the decision to either accept, reject or modify the ALJ’s decision. If an individuals feels there has been a mistake they can request a rehearing in Maricopa County Arizona.
Arizona Board of Pharmacy Disciplinary Actions | Defense for Pharmacists with Arizona Pharmacy Board Disciplinary Actions
Arizona Board of Pharmacy disciplinary actions are given to pharmacists with a license or certification in Arizona. If the Board determines formal disciplinary action is necessary it will happen after the completion of an investigation. It’s the job of the Board to review any complaint alleging a violation of the Arizona laws and regulations. Chelle Law’s Arizona Board of Pharmacy Attorneys have represented over 1,000 health care professionals before Arizona licensing boards. At Chelle Law, our attorney’s have the experience to help pharmacists with all Arizona Board of Pharmacy matters.
Thus, at a Board Meeting, the Board will vote to determine the outcome of each investigation and whether to issue disciplinary measures. The Board can vote on a non-disciplinary outcome or vote to offer the pharmacist formal discipline. Disciplinary actions can include:
- Letter of concern
- Decree of censure
- Non-disciplinary order for continuing education
State Board of Pharmacy Non Disciplinary Actions
- CASE DISMISSAL: The Board may dismiss a complaint if they determine the information indicates there was not a violation of the rules of the Arizona Revised Statutes. This outcome is not available to the public.
- LETTER OF CONCERN: A letter from the Board expressing concern that the pharmacist’s conduct was not ideal; however, the conduct does not necessarily violate the law or Arizona State Board policy and no further contact is needed. This will not effect future licensure or if the licensee wishes to further their education. This is not shown on license verification.
- NON-DISCIPLINARY ORDER FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION: An order that dictates the pharmacist must complete a number of hours of continuing education for specific topics.
Arizona Board of Pharmacy Unprofessional Conduct
- REVOCATION: If the Board revokes a pharmacist’s license the pharmacist will be unable to practice or get licensed again for a minimum of five years. After the five year period license revocation the pharmacist will need to reapply for their license. If the pharmacist reapplies for licensure they must demonstrate the grounds for revocation (substance abuse, mental health problems, criminal convictions) has been rectified through an applicable program. This is a public document.
- VOLUNTARY SURRENDER: The pharmacist voluntarily gives up their license. The benefit of this voluntary consent is that the Board is usually willing to reduce the amount of time until a pharmacist can reapply. This is usually between two to three years.
- SUSPENSION: A suspension stops the pharmacist from practicing. It prohibits any patient contact or services for a period of time until the Board lifts the suspension.
- PROBATION: The Board offers probation through a consent agreement. The consent agreement requires the pharmacist do certain things (drug testing, work supervision, counseling, continuing education). Alternatively, they may need to refrain from doing things (unsupervised Medical like home health, working under the Medical licensure compact, using alcohol, etc.) A request for a removal of probation will be needed.
- DECREE OF CENSURE: A letter of reprimand is the lowest level of formal discipline against a license or certificate. There are no probationary requirements. However, the action is on the website for the public to inspect. this is considered a penalty.
Arizona Revised Statutes and Complaint Information
Who can file an Arizona Board of Pharmacy Complaint against a pharmacist? Patients, health care facilities, other professionals, among others. When the AZ Board receives a complaint, the Board initiates an investigation into the complaint (if the Board has jurisdiction and the Complaint isn’t dismissed). After this happens, the pharmacist receives notice and the board assigns an investigator to the case. Please note, having an attorney during this step can be crucial for pharmacists as they must submit a response, interview with the investigator while also possibly appearing at an Arizona Board of Pharmacy.
Professional Licensing Complaints and Laws Attorney
If you’re interested in learning more about our Arizona Board of Pharmacy Attorney services and how to protect your Board license, set up a consultation with an AZ attorney with Chelle Law today.