Florida Pharmacist License Defense

As the nation's most popular retirement destination, the State of Florida is constantly in need of qualified licensed pharmacists. Yet, for any pharmacist licensed in Florida, it can be deeply disheartening to learn that allegations of misconduct have been made against you, putting your Florida pharmacist's license at risk. You've invested significant time and energy into excelling in your field and advancing your career, not to mention the years spent fostering trust with your patients and peers. Suddenly, one single complaint threatens to undo all your hard work.

The complaint against you could have come from anything: an honest mistake, a misunderstanding, or even a false accusation. Whatever the case, the Florida Board of Pharmacy takes its role of protecting the public seriously, and it may err on the side of caution when it comes to your licensure. The Professional License Defense Team of the Lento Law Firm understands your dilemma and understands how to help you navigate this crisis successfully. Hiring a skilled professional licensed defense attorney at the earliest hint of trouble can significantly increase your chances of resolving the complaint while keeping your license unharmed.

The Lento Law Firm Team has extensive experience in supporting pharmacists across the country who are facing license disciplinary issues. Let's discuss your case. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 or reach out using our online contact form.

The Florida Board of Pharmacy Has the Authority to Discipline, Restrict, or Revoke Your Pharmacy Practice

In Florida, the pharmacy profession is overseen by the Florida Board of Pharmacy, and the Florida Statutes detail the pharmacists. If a complaint is lodged against you, the Board has the legal authority to impose disciplinary actions to safeguard public welfare. Your pharmacist's license is intrinsically tied to your means of living, but if the Board uncovers sufficient evidence of misconduct, you could face harsh penalties, including potential license revocation. Without a license, your career is virtually non-existent.

If an investigation and subsequent hearing conclude that you have violated state regulations governing the practice of pharmacy, the Florida Board of Nursing can (and likely will) impose sanctions on you that could complicate your career at best and end it at worst. Florida law prescribes specific disciplinary actions for various violations of the statutes. These sanctions could include:

  • Formal reprimand: An official notice of reprimand from the Board that is visible on your professional record.
  • Fines: Monetary penalties generally range from $500 to $10,000, depending on the offense.
  • Probation. The Board can place you under supervision and monitoring for a specified period.
  • Continuing education. You might be required to complete continuing education courses as a precondition to keeping your license if the violation stemmed from an educational gap.
  • License suspension. This bars you from practicing as a pharmacist for a set or indefinite duration, yet it may also provide a chance to reactivate your license.
  • License revocation. Your pharmacist license is permanently revoked, and you are no longer allowed to practice in Florida.

The Danger of Discipline Is Real--Even if You Are Completely Innocent

Don't make the assumption that if someone levels a false allegation against you that the "truth will come out." The Department of Health and the Board of Pharmacy commonly make errors during investigations and hearings, and unlike the criminal justice system, they don't have to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. As a result, it is not uncommon for innocent pharmacists to face disciplinary action or even lose their licenses due to misunderstandings or baseless accusations. Some factors that can lead licensing boards to reach incorrect conclusions:

  • Investigative failures, resulting in a lack of discovery of facts, testimonies, and evidence that could alter the case's outcome
  • Preliminary bias towards you
  • Disregarding specific evidence or testimonies that might exonerate you

The best way to avoid these outcomes is by involving a solid legal team at the first sign of trouble; the Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm understands the workings of the boards and how to position your case for the best possible resolution.

Potential Allegations Jeopardizing Your Pharmacist License in Florida

Pharmacists bear the responsibility of accurately dispensing medications to patients that have been prescribed by their doctors--and for that reason, they are held to exceptionally high professional standards. Most issues leading to license suspension or revocation stem from breaches of these standards of care or other forms of dishonesty. Some of the more common violations:

  • Professional Incompetence. Precision is crucial for pharmacists as patients' health relies on accurate prescriptions and dosages. Errors like dosage mistakes, incorrect doses, or wrong prescriptions can harm patients. Other forms of incompetence may involve not providing patients adequate counseling over a drug, overlooking a doctor's prescribing error, or overlooking known allergies or drug interactions.
  • Fraudulent Practices. Acts of fraud like overcharging patients, substituting lower-cost drugs for pricier ones, or billing insurance for brand-name drugs while dispensing generic versions can all lead to potential suspension or revocation of a pharmacist's license.
  • Inadequate Record-Keeping. Pharmacists handle controlled substances and are expected to maintain precise inventories. Discrepancies between your inventory and dispensed drugs during an audit may imply illicit use or distribution of medications, endangering your license.
  • Substance Misuse. If the Board deems you unfit to perform your duties safely due to habitual intoxication or medicinal drug misuse, your license could be suspended pending treatment or possibly revoked outright.
  • Criminal Convictions. Convictions for certain crimes can jeopardize your pharmacist's license, even if unrelated to your profession (a DUI, for example). Failing to self-report a criminal conviction to the Board may also result in disciplinary action.
  • Improper Handling of Patient Records. Patient privacy is legally protected. Hence, violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) could lead to license suspension or revocation.
  • Delegating Tasks Inappropriately. Some pharmacists wrongly allow unlicensed technicians or cashiers to handle medications beyond their licensing qualifications. This can put your license at risk.

The Disciplinary Process for Pharmacists in Florida

The Florida Department of Health is responsible for the enforcement of professional standards for healthcare professionals within the state, including licensed pharmacists. This enforcement follows a comprehensive set of protocols, but most disciplinary cases generally progress through the following stages.

Filing of a Complaint

The initiation of any disciplinary action begins with a complaint lodged against you with the Department of Health. Any member of the public can file such a complaint, though they are typically submitted by patients, their families, colleagues, other healthcare professionals, or anyone who believes you have breached state standards.


Upon receipt of the complaint, the Department evaluates it to ascertain if the indicated violation falls within the jurisdiction of the Board before proceeding. Frivolous complaints that do not violate state standards, for instance, would result in a dismissal of the complaint.

Investigative Stage

Next, the complaint goes to the Department's Investigative Services Unit (ISU) for a detailed investigation. This step might include asking for more info from you, talking to the person who complained and any witnesses, and getting documents. The goal now is to collect proof to support the claims against you.

Probable Cause Determination

Once the ISU completes its investigation, the Prosecution Services Unit (PSU) reviews the evidence to determine if disciplinary action is warranted. If evidence is insufficient to support the allegations, the complaint is dismissed. However, if probable cause is found, the case moves forward. The PSU can also take emergency action, like temporarily suspending a license, if there is an immediate threat to public safety.

Administrative Complaint

If probable cause is found, the PSU will file a formal Administrative Complaint against you with the Department of Health. At this stage, your case can be resolved in one of four ways:

  • Settlement Agreement: A settlement agreement is a contractual agreement where you agree to the disciplinary action and other conditions proposed by the Board. With this option, the Lento Law Firm Team can often negotiate for leniency and a route to reinstating your license.
  • No Contest/Hearing Waived: By choosing this option, you essentially admit to the misconduct and accept the Board's disciplinary recommendations without a hearing (for example, voluntarily surrendering your license).
  • No Contest/Informal Hearing: Similar to the previous option, but includes an informal hearing before the Board to discuss terms.
  • Formal Hearing: If you dispute the Administrative Complaint, you have the right to defend your case in a formal hearing before an Administrative Law Judge with legal representation. The judge will then make a ruling and recommendation to the Board based on the hearing.

Final Decision by the Board

After the hearing process, the Board of Pharmacy will review the findings and recommendations by the ALJ. If you were found guilty of violating the terms of your license, the Board will determine the appropriate disciplinary actions.

Right to Appeal

You have the right to appeal to a Florida District Court if you disagree with the Board's decision. However, the appeal process can be costly and time-consuming, and most decisions are upheld unless there's a procedural error leading to a miscarriage of justice.

Protecting Your Pharmacist License with the Assistance of the Lento Law Firm

If you're a Florida-based pharmacist facing the license disciplinary process, you should know that the presumption of innocence doesn't typically apply. The Board's primary commitment is to protect public safety, and they hold the power to enforce disciplinary actions based only on the preponderance of the evidence. This puts you at an inherent disadvantage from the moment a complaint is filed and validated. Therefore, attempting to resolve such a complaint without the support of a seasoned attorney can be perilous.

The Professional License Defense Team of the Lento Law Firm can significantly improve your chances of retaining your pharmacist license while also minimizing the potential impact on your career. We meticulously evaluate the facts and evidence, gauge the strength of the complaint against you, assist in gathering evidence, coordinate witnesses if necessary, and negotiate the most favorable terms of resolution with the Board. In numerous cases, we can resolve the complaint even before it escalates to a formal hearing. Should the issue proceed to a hearing, we know how to articulate your case persuasively for the best possible outcome.

Areas We Serve in Florida

The Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team can assist licensed pharmacists facing possible disciplinary action in any city or town in Florida. Most of our clients live and work in the state's larger population centers, which include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • South Florida: This metropolis of more than 6 million sprawls up the southeast coast of Florida from Miami north to West Palm Beach, also including cities like Boca Raton, Hollywood, and Fort Lauderdale, among others.
  • Jacksonville: Located on the northeast coast of Florida, this city boasts a population of over 950,000 and is home to several large healthcare systems.
  • Orlando: Known for its theme parks and tourist attractions, Orlando also has a significant healthcare industry and numerous pharmacists working in the area.
  • Tampa: This city on Florida's Gulf Coast is home to many licensed pharmacists working in the healthcare sector, including major hospitals and medical centers.
  • Gainesville: Located in north-central Florida, Gainesville is home to the University of Florida and its reputable College of Pharmacy. It also has a thriving healthcare industry with numerous pharmacists employed in various settings.

Trusted Professional License Attorney for Florida Pharmacists

As a pharmacist facing allegations of misconduct in Florida, securing the services of a professional licensed attorney early in the process can dramatically improve your prospects of a positive outcome. Some pharmacists delay hiring an attorney until a formal hearing is imminent, inadvertently bypassing multiple opportunities for a more advantageous resolution. The sooner you engage the Lento Law Firm Team, the more options we have to negotiate an optimal outcome.

Your pharmacist career represents years of dedication and hard work—don't let unfair accusations of wrongdoing derail it. To discuss your case and explore your options, contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 or through our online contact form.


Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm are committed to answering your questions about Physician License Defense, Nursing License Defense, Pharmacist License Defense, Psychologist and Psychiatrist License Defense, Dental License Defense, Chiropractic License Defense, Real Estate License Defense, Professional Counseling License Defense, and Other Professional Licenses law issues nationwide.
The Lento Law Firm will gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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