I Fight For Texas Pharmacists!
Becoming a pharmacist in Texas requires years of training. You have an extraordinary level of responsibility – read one badly written prescription in the wrong way, your patient can be harmed. Some of you have taken on even more responsibility – you are the “Pharmacist in Charge.” The Texas State Board of Pharmacy believes it is your responsibility to have your pharmacy in compliance with every state and federal law and regulation. The Board can sanction you for something someone else did in your pharmacy – even if you were out sick or in the hospital!
If the Texas State Board of Pharmacy is investigating you, you need help. The Board acts in accordance with some complex rules – rules that only an experienced lawyer can parse and apply in your favor. I have helped other pharmacists defend their licenses. Here are some frequently asked questions:
- CAN I AFFORD YOU? Pharmacists frequently work for long hours for comparably low wages. I understand that and have devised a fee schedule that takes your needs into account. See my “Affordable” page.
- THE BOARD HAS SCHEDULED AN INFORMAL CONFERENCE. DO I NEED TO ATTEND? The informal conference is a very important part of the Board’s process. That conference can be attended by senior board staff and usually one Board member. It is an opportunity for you to explain your side of the story. It is also an opportunity to argue for mitigation of any sanction the Board might be thinking about imposing. I strongly encourage you to attend and to treat it as if it was a formal hearing. In other words, bring any documents that support your side. You are allowed to have a lawyer present. Of course, I think you should have one there at your side.
- THE BOARD HAS SENT ME A PROPOSED AGREED ORDER. SHOULD I SIGN IT? The proposed agreed order is drafted by the Board’s staff. You cannot expect that staff to know all of the circumstances of your particular case. What might be a really good order for one pharmacist might not work nearly as well for another. You need an attorney who has worked on such orders in the past and who knows your needs to review that order. If it is a good order under the circumstances, I will tell you.
- THE BOARD WANTS ME TO BE UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE PROFESSIONAL RECOVERY NETWORK. WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW? The Professional Recovery Network can help pharmacists who are having problems with drugs or alcohol. However, if the proposed order requires you to work with the PRN, it is also likely to require you to consent to having all of your consultations with that network be reportable to the Board. In other words, you cannot tell the PRN people any secrets with the expectation that they will remain confidential (as they normally would). For some Texas Pharmacists, this is no big deal. For others, it is an impediment to recovery. You need to understand all of the consequences of signing an order before you sign it. I will do my best to explain every step that I know about.
- THE BOARD HAS OFFERED ME A “CONFIDENTIAL” ORDER. IS IT TRULY CONFIDENTIAL? The terms of the order are not plastered on the internet, so to that extent the order is confidential. However, the Board’s web site will list your status (e.g. “probation”) and the Board will supply details of the conditions of your probation to anyone who asks.
- I DIDN’T DO WHAT THE STAFF ACCUSES ME OF DOING. WILL YOU FIGHT FOR ME? I will fight to protect your reputation and your pharmacist license. We will need to have a talk about your chances of success before the State Office of Administrative Hearings and the Texas State Board of Pharmacy. In order to win some cases, it is necessary to appeal beyond the Board to the Court system. I will explain all of your options and describe the advantages and disadvantages of each course of action. In the end, YOU will decide the course that is best for you. If you tell me to “fight,” I will fight with zeal and vigor.
Any other questions? Contact me through the “contact” page on this web site or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are being investigated, it is important that you respond to the Board very quickly. Contact me now – while you are thinking about it!