New York Pharmacist License Defense

As a New York pharmacist, you have devoted countless hours and invested considerable resources to build your career. Your license is unequivocally your most valued possession since it holds the key to protecting your livelihood. Therefore, discovering that an allegation or complaint against you has triggered an investigation into this treasured asset can be terrifying and upsetting.

It might be as simple as a misunderstanding or an honest mistake--or the allegations may be completely untrue. Regardless, the New York State Office of the Professions (OP) has an obligation to investigate complaints against all licensed pharmacists. If there is any evidence suggesting the validity of a complaint, then disciplinary charges could be brought up against you, and your license may be put in danger.

As scary as this seems, you're not without hope. With the help of an experienced New York license defense attorney, your odds of emerging with your pharmacist license intact go up considerably. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has many years of experience with disciplinary cases like yours, and he and his team will work to get you the best outcome possible. To discuss your situation, contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686.

What Could Cause a New York Licensed Pharmacist to Lose Their License?

Pharmacists must adhere to stringent standards and rules when dispensing medications, and they must follow strict protocols to ensure patient safety. Most allegations that could endanger your license involve some violation of these standards or the public trust in general. Common examples include:

  • Fraud. Some examples of pharmacist fraud include charging excessive fees for medications, substituting drugs without doctor authorization, billing insurers for brand-name drugs while supplying generic versions, and so on.
  • Incompetence. Accuracy and attention to detail are absolutely critical to protecting patient safety with dispensing medicines. Examples of pharmacist incompetence or neglect include dispensing incorrect dosages, miscalculating the number of doses, giving a patient the wrong prescription, failing to notice a doctor's error in a prescription, or failing to account for drug interactions or patient drug allergies.
  • Improper record-keeping. Knowing which medications have been dispensed is essential for patient safety and legal compliance. If you are found to be lacking in this regard, your license could be at risk. You can also be disciplined for failing to protect patient privacy (e.g., HIPAA violations).
  • Criminal activity. Criminal convictions, including DUIs, drug-related charges, and other offenses, could result in disciplinary action against your pharmacist license.

The License Disciplinary Process in New York

The State of New York has a fairly streamlined disciplinary process for licensed professionals--most of whom, including pharmacists, are governed by the Office of the Professions. If allegations against your license arise, the disciplinary process will move through a predictable set of steps.

Complaint

The vast majority of license investigations begin with a formal complaint. Any member of the public can file a complaint against you with the OP, although in the case of pharmacists, complaints are most likely to be filed by customers, physicians, insurance companies, etc.

Investigation

Next, the OP will launch an investigation to look for evidence to substantiate the complaint. This process may include interviews with the complainant and witnesses, document subpoenas, and other fact-finding efforts. You may also be invited to submit a written response to the allegations. Should the OP find no persuasive evidence of wrongdoing, they will not take any further steps. But should there be sufficient proof of misconduct, the case shall immediately be referred to the NYS Department of Education Board of Regents for further review.

Consent Order

If the evidence against you is compelling, the Board may offer to negotiate a consent order with you to avoid calling a hearing. A consent order is a legal agreement between you and the state in which you voluntarily submit to the Board's recommended disciplinary actions. This isn't always the best alternative to resolving your case, but if disciplinary action is inevitable, a good attorney can often negotiate terms that allow you to keep your license--or at least provide a path to reinstatement.

Hearing and Determination

If you don't accept a consent order, or if one isn't offered, then the Board of Regents will organize a formal hearing to further discuss why your license should not be revoked. During this meeting, it is within your right to have an attorney with you to present your case. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board makes a final determination regarding disciplinary action, ranging from a formal reprimand to fines to completely revoking your pharmacist license.

Why Hire an Experienced New York License Defense Attorney

The outcome of a license investigation can have significant ramifications for your career. Unlike criminal charges, you have no guaranteed presumption of innocence with a license investigation, nor does the Board have to find you guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt." The Board only needs to be convinced that you are more than 50 percent likely to have committed the offense. This puts you at a distinct disadvantage as soon as a complaint is filed.

Having an experienced attorney on your side can even the odds against you and give you a fighting chance at preserving your career. A good attorney can ensure that your rights are respected throughout the process and can provide invaluable assistance with pre-hearing strategies, negotiating a consent order, or mounting a formidable defense during the hearing. In many cases, an attorney can even negotiate for dismissal of the complaint or for lenient penalties long before things get to the hearing stage. In short, you have a much better chance of keeping your license with the right attorney looking out for your interests.

You've worked too hard building your career as a licensed New York pharmacist to have it derailed by allegations of wrongdoing. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his team have the knowledge and experience needed to safeguard your license and your career. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at (888) 535-3686 to schedule a consultation.

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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 in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento will gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact him today to schedule an appointment.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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