It is no exaggeration to say that it requires years of a person’s time in studies and work in order to gain the credentials and learn the required skills to obtain a license as a pharmacist or a pharmacist technician. This is why any threats and accusations of professional misconduct, abuse, or inappropriate actions are so frustrating and should be taken very seriously. More than this, they also put a pharmacist individual’s license, future, reputation and livelihood at risk.
This is why at the first hint of trouble or allegations, it is so important to engage a license defense lawyer who is well experienced in order to defend a pharmacist’s license and secure his or her future when either an official investigation or disciplinary hearing gets underway. This is the time for effective and powerful legal representation for pharmacies, pharmacists, and pharmacist technicians around New Jersey.
Reasons a Pharmacist License Can Be in Jeopardy
The New Jersey State Licensing Board is a division of the New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs. They are charged with investigating any type of complaint against a pharmacy, pharmacist, or pharmacist technician that arises from any number of sources. Some of these include:
• Other pharmacists
• Insurance companies
• The report of the National Practitioner Data Bank
This State Licensing Board for Pharmacy has the power to look into pharmacies in general, and pharmacists and pharmacy technicians specifically. There are many generic reasons why investigations and disciplinary actions could be opened against these entities and personnel, such as for:
• Drugs or alcohol abuse, dependency, addiction, or uncontrolled alcoholism
• Assisting in any capacity as an accessory for illegal selling or distribution of drugs, chemicals, or pills
• Negligence in the practice of pharmacy duties and dispensing
• Criminal actions, charges, or convictions
• Violations of federal or state laws, especially leading to arrests, convictions, and charges that are criminal in nature
• False or inappropriate advertising
• Violations of health, professional pharmacy, or safety codes
• Incorrectly filling prescriptions
• Deliberately or accidentally over-prescribing controlled medical substances
• Failing to name a pharmacist in charge
• Making fraudulent insurance or medical billings claims
• Maintaining records of inventory that are deemed to be inadequate
• Other forms of illegal conduct, such as practicing pharmacy in a manner that might hurt a patient, refusing consultation services to a client, or disclosing the private nature of a patient’s pharmaceutical prescriptions and services to another individual
Consequences of Investigations That Lead to Disciplinary Actions
Many different consequences could result from investigations and disciplinary actions led by the State Licensing Board. These could potentially include administrative penalties and fines, monitoring, license restrictions probation, or even having a pharmacist license suspended or permanently revoked. Such punishments could cause a pharmacist or pharmacist technician to be incapable of practicing pharmacy and supporting his or her family.
As bad as such penalties and punishments are, there are still worse consequences that can result from accusations of professional or personal misconduct by the State Licensing Board. Besides simply losing a pharmacist license, a professional could also lose his or her job or even face prosecution as a state or federal criminal.
Professional individuals who are having their license, their job, and their freedom all threatened do not require three different kinds of attorneys to defend them. They need one who is capable of assisting in the protection and defense of their license, their livelihood, and their reputation and freedom. This is a lawyer who possesses vast experience in the three different areas of law, who is capable of anticipating other legal area issues, and who can assist the individuals with making the best and most informed decisions of what path of defense to ultimately take.
How Licensed Defense Lawyers Can Help Mitigate Penalties
With the experienced services of a dependable license defense lawyer who specializes in dealing with the New Jersey State Licensing Boards, there is no good reason to lose a pharmacy or pharmacy assistant license. These professional attorneys are able to mitigate any doled out penalties to more bearable punishments. Among these reduced and less severe penalties that can be secured are taking continuing education classes, submitting to a fine by the State Licensing Board, or providing fair and reasonable restitution to the patient who has been injured. It is possible that the pharmacist’s license could be suspended temporarily for a certain amount of time, yet with proper representation, such a license can ultimately be restored so that the victim may return to his or her job or practice.
The problem is that the New Jersey State Licensing Board’s inquiries could require as long as two years before they are resolved one way or the other. This is because the New Jersey state boards have an enormous workload. This delays the final decisions as a result of an official and formal inquiry. A good attorney will hold the pharmacist or pharmacist technician’s hand all along the way, assisting him or her with diligence in order to reduce any possible penalties that are handed down in the end.
New Jersey State Licensing Board Disciplinary Procedures
Any disciplinary procedure always starts out with the filing of a formal complaint. Such a complaint is reviewed by the State Licensing Board in New Jersey before they open an official and formal investigation into the allegations of personal or professional misconduct. When the investigation finally concludes, then the State Licensing Board will hold a hearing with the pharmacist or pharmacist technician in question appearing before them, alongside their legal counsel.
This is the point when the State Licensing Board will decide if there are proper grounds for disciplinary action. Formal charges could be filed against the pharmacy, pharmacist, or pharmacist technician at this time. The practicing professional’s attorney will engage in a dialogue via this hearing conference with the State Licensing Board of New Jersey in an effort to negotiate the penalties that have been prescribed. Whatever penalties are finally settled on will then be meted out, and the pharmacy professional will have to accept and abide by them. There is neither further process of nor higher oversight body to which he or she can appeal.
Those students who undertake the many years of schooling necessary to become a licensed pharmacist understand all too well the fact that their licenses, careers, and futures are all literally on the line should they suffer a serious mistake or inadvertently or intentionally break the state or federal laws. It is no small or laughable matter to have invested literally years of one’s life in time and finances in order to finally obtain a license to become a pharmacist, only to later see it melt away.
Because these professional individuals have so much to lose in the money, effort, and time that they have poured into this career, it is essential that they face head on the very real danger of losing their professional license to practice pharmacy or of receiving a suspension from practicing pharmacy. This is why it is so very critical to obtain legal help from a thoroughly experienced and expert pharmacy license defense attorney to safeguard their reputations, careers, and means of providing for themselves and their families. Call an attorney who will make sincere and intense efforts to defend these important rights and protect the all-important pharmacist license. Contact New York Criminal Lawyers today.