TEXAS PHARMACY BOARD DEFENSE
TSBP Registered Pharmacist Attorney
If you have received a letter of investigation or initial complaint from the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, then you should consider seeking experienced legal counsel. You and your career deserve to have a TSBP registered pharmacist attorney on your side who will fight to protect your license to practice pharmacy.
What Does the Texas State Board of Pharmacy Regulate?
Through power granted to it by the Texas Pharmacy Act, the Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP) is responsible for regulating the practice of pharmacy. As a result, the majority of complaints concerning a pharmacist’s services are initially directed to the state board for investigation.
The Texas Pharmacy Act is a statute that authorizes the Board to issue and subsequently discipline the licenses it grants to registered pharmacists (R.Ph.’s). The Pharmacy Act also allows the Texas State Board of Pharmacy to monitor the activities of pharmacies.
The Texas State Board of Pharmacy oversees the practice of pharmacies through inspections and investigation of complaints to ensure quality control with regard to professional standards and required skill levels of pharmacists. The Board is also responsible for preventing misuse and diversion of prescription drugs, as well as controlling the distribution of prescribed drugs.
The Texas State Board of Pharmacy oversees over 6,000 pharmacies in Texas and 24,000 licensed pharmacists across Texas. Unfortunately, simple missteps caused by excessively broad responses can result in an investigation and, often unnecessary, penalization by the TSBP.
The pharmacist licensing attorneys of Leichter Law Firm PC have handled hundreds of pharmacy license matters involving the Texas State Board of Pharmacy. These cases range from minor prescribing violations to litigation involving alleged infractions of the Controlled Substances Act.
All of our TSBP lawyers have extensive Texas State Board of Pharmacy experience, and some have worked as attorneys for other boards with similar licensing regimes, such as the Texas Medical Board.
How a TSBP Registered Pharmacist Attorney Can Help
At Leichter Law Firm PC, our representative cases illustrate the kind of success our TSBP registered pharmacist attorneys have had in defending pharmacists and protecting their license to practice pharmacy from the overzealous investigators at the Texas State Board of Pharmacy.
Disciplinary cases involving a pharmacist’s license and the Texas State Board of Pharmacy have two distinct aspects: substantive and procedural.
The Substantive Aspect of Disciplinary Action by the TSBP
The substantive aspect involves the allegation or matter type. An example of this would be a claim by the Texas State Board of Pharmacy that a pharmacist’s conduct was unprofessional.
Substantive issues prosecuted by the Texas State Board of Pharmacy can be further classified into two types. One type includes issues related to the pharmacist or pharmacy technician’s behavioral problems, and the other type includes issues involving a breach of the standard of care.
Our pharmacist license defense attorneys regularly counter the TSBP’s efforts to penalize pharmacists for behavioral problems such as:
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI) violations
- Alcohol abuse allegations
- Substance abuse and chemical dependency allegations
- Criminal conduct, especially that resulting in criminal probation, community supervision, or deferred adjudication
- Inability to practice due to a physical or mental condition
- Not reporting felonies or misdemeanors on license renewal forms
The Procedural Aspect of Disciplinary Action by the TSBP
The procedural aspect refers to where the case is in the disciplinary process.
Procedural milestones or stages in the development of an investigation or Texas State Board of Pharmacy disciplinary case can be segmented as follows:
- Receipt of an initial complaint letter
- Formal investigation phase
- Informal settlement conference
- Agreed order negotiations
- SOAH contested case hearing process
- Appeals and motions for rehearing
- Temporary suspension hearings
- Probation or agreed order violations
Protecting your Pharmacy Board License from Revocation
Our pharmacy board licensing lawyers also defend your license when the Texas State Board of Pharmacy tries to discipline you for breaching the standard of care.
Leichter Law Firm PC’s attorneys have successfully defended pharmacist and pharmacist technicians from revocation of their licenses for:
- Non-therapeutic dispensing
- Dispensing errors
- Failure to maintain appropriate inventories
- Failure to prevent loss or diversion of controlled substances
- Failure to supervise technicians or fulfill the duties of a Pharmacist in Charge (PIC).
- Improper storage of Schedule II Narcotics
- Discipline by peers / Adverse actions
- Violations of an agreed order entered into with the Texas State Board of Pharmacy
- Failure to timely complete continuing pharmacy education
- Filling expired prescriptions
- Unprofessional conduct
- Unauthorized practice of pharmacy
Preventing Unnecessary Investigation or Imposition of Discipline
Since the Texas State Board of Pharmacy is responsible for regulating the practice of pharmacy in Texas, most complaints concerning a pharmacist’s services are initially directed to the state board for investigation.
Although some complaints may begin with other agencies, such as the DEA or DPS, most complaints are filed by dissatisfied consumers, angry spouses, or disgruntled co-workers. The disciplinary process at the Texas State Board of Pharmacy is a complaint-driven process, and as such, cases invariably initiate with a letter of complaint.
Lately, the Board has been utilizing its temporary suspension authority. It has been suspending both pharmacy and pharmacist (R.PH) licenses without notice, using the power granted to them by the legislature in the Texas Pharmacy Practice Act. This type of aggressive action can be devastating to a small business owner and can destroy relationships with customers that have taken years to build.
If you have received a letter of investigation or initial complaint from the Texas State Board of Pharmacy or are at any stage of the legal process with the TSBP, you should consider immediately retaining experienced legal counsel to protect your license to practice pharmacy. It’s not infrequent that simple mistakes or oversights turn into lengthy investigations or the imposition of discipline, including probation or suspension.
You need experienced legal representation to fight for you. If you seek help from an attorney experienced in pharmacist license law early on, you will have sufficient time for an investigation on your behalf and for drafting comprehensive responses to the Board’s allegations and questions.
Why Hire a TSBP Registered Pharmacist Attorney?
In many cases, a pharmacist or pharmacy licensee will send an original response to a complaint filed with the Texas State Board of Pharmacy that actually does more harm than good by seriously prejudicing their case, or otherwise waiving their legal rights. These negatively impact the case going forward. This is especially common when the Texas State Board of Pharmacy makes initial contact with a pharmacist or pharmacy through an unexpected visit from a Board investigator.
When the pharmacist’s or pharmacy’s first Texas State Board of Pharmacy contact is through an investigator, it is likely that the Board has already come to the conclusion that a probable violation has occurred, but it may still be collecting evidence. This can occasionally be done by gathering detrimental statements from the licensee and/or requiring that the licensee sign a medical release.
It is critical that the pharmacist or pharmacy seek professional legal advice and possible representation of an experienced TSBP registered pharmacist attorney immediately after learning that a complaint has been filed with the TSBP against their license.
Early attorney involvement may be the difference between unnecessary investigation or imposition of discipline, and a successful outcome before the Texas State Board of Pharmacy.
Leichter Law Firm PC, TSBP Registered Pharmacist Attorney
Based in Texas, Leichter Law Firm PC has long-standing experience in serving the legal needs of licensed pharmacists, physicians, and other healthcare providers. We routinely appear in front of several boards, including the Texas Medical Board (TMB), the Texas Board of Nursing (BON), and the Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP).
Our firm has successfully represented a large number of clients in both disciplinary and post-disciplinary licensure matters. Additionally, we have effectively handled multiple transactional disputes and negotiations with the organizational structuring and licensing of pharmacies and other healthcare related entities, and transactional disputes and litigation on our clients’ behalf.
Our pharmacist license defense attorneys draw on a wealth of practical experience when negotiating agreed orders with the pharmacy board, and could get you a less punitive order than what the board is currently willing to give you.
At Leichter Law Firm PC, our licensing board lawyers have extensive practice analyzing and interpreting the Texas Pharmacy Act and the accompanying case law, as well as the Administrative Procedure Act which governs the hearings between the pharmacy board and its licensees.
If you feel we could be of service defending your license to practice pharmacy, we invite you to contact us today for a free consultation at 512.495.9995.