Ohio Pharmacist License Defense

As a pharmacist, you play an integral role in your community, and patients will likely depend on you for your knowledge and expertise. Do not let any accusations stop you from doing what you love. If you are unsure about hiring legal help, remember that the sooner you act, the better your chances of achieving the best possible outcome for your case. The Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team is experienced in defending pharmacists in Ohio and across the nation who have found their license in a state of uncertainty. Let us help you craft the strongest defense possible to protect your pharmacist license. Call us at 888-535-3686 or tell us about your case online.

Ohio Discipline Process for Licensed Pharmacists

The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy is responsible for upholding the drug laws of Ohio as well as the laws that govern the practice of pharmacy and pharmacist licenses. If you find yourself being investigated by the Board, it is important that you have a working understanding of their policies and procedures. The Board consists of 9 members appointed by the Governor for four-year terms. Eight board members are licensed pharmacists who "represent, to the extent practicable, each phase of pharmacy practice." The ninth member represents the public. The Board also has a staff of 96 employees acting in the public interest to ensure optimal standards of practice are met. The Board elects one of its members as President and another as Vice President, and they also hire a non-member to serve as an executive director. The Board follows the same administrative procedures as listed in Chapter 119 of the Ohio Administrative Code. If you find yourself being investigated by the Board, you must prove that retaining your license is in no way a threat to public safety.

Allegations That Can Put Your License at Risk

Generally, any misconduct or allegation that questions your professional conduct can put your license at risk, including:

  • Being convicted of a felony, a “crime of moral turpitude,” or a misdemeanor related to your practice
  • Abusing drugs and/or alcohol
  • Lending your name to an illegal practitioner of pharmacy
  • Dividing remuneration with other health professionals
  • Committing fraud to secure a license
  • Acting dishonestly or unprofessionally

Unprofessional conduct is an umbrella term and consists of a variety of possible offenses, including but not limited to:

  • False or misleading advertisement of drugs
  • Dispensing drugs for which there is no prescription
  • Dispensing medication for which there is a false prescription (to your knowledge)
  • Poor or careless record-keeping

In cases of drug or alcohol abuse, or any case the board deems necessary, a pharmacist may be required to submit to a physical or mental examination to determine whether their ability to practice is impaired. Depending on the results of the examination, this can lead to license suspension.

Additionally, if the board considers a violation minor, even if it is technically prohibited under the code of law, they do retain the right to issue a simple warning or notice, as long as they believe that the public interest is still being served without any disciplinary action.

Understanding the Importance of the NABP Clearinghouse

The NABP Clearinghouse is a national database that stores all administrative and disciplinary actions taken against pharmacists, pharmacies, and related entities. Any adverse decisions made by the Board will be published in this database and made publicly accessible to any future employers. Should you want to transfer your license from Ohio to another state, having charges on your record makes it significantly more difficult to do so. The system automatically notifies the Board of the state you are applying to, making it nearly impossible not to address this issue in any future applications. Being proactive about preserving your professional accountability is crucial not only for your career but also for your national reputation.

Pre-Accusation Stage

Before a complaint reaches the Board, you may know that one is being filed, either because the accuser has explicitly told you or a colleague has informed you of misconduct that they witnessed, requiring them to file a report with the Board. If you have been falsely accused, you may believe that the truth is all you need for a good defense, but this is not always the case. Regardless of your situation, it's best not to have a do-it-yourself attitude to prevent any misunderstanding or worsening of your situation.

State Board of Pharmacy Attorneys

The Board may choose to elect attorneys who are classified as administrative law attorney examiners or administrative law attorney examiner administrators. Sometimes, the Board will move forward with a personal service contract with an attorney who practices in the state of Ohio.

In either case, this individual will represent the Board and collect both oral and documented evidence presented by both parties.


The Board takes any complaints it receives seriously and will launch an investigation to determine the validity of the claims against you.

Once an investigation is launched, the Board can and will use their enforcement attorney to collect any necessary evidence. Any information they collect during the investigation is confidential and will not be released to the public record. The Board may share their findings with other governmental agencies upon request, but they must also proceed in a way that protects the confidentiality of all patients and reporting individuals involved. Evidence may include sworn oral testimonies from any witnesses, issuing subpoenas, and compelling copies of any physical evidence. Before your case moves to a formal hearing, the Board will decide whether there is enough evidence to proceed.

Formal Hearings

If the Board finds compelling evidence against you, you will be notified in writing of the accusations. This notice will contain relevant charges, laws, and rules involved in the case against you. You have the right to request a hearing within thirty days of this notice, and the Board has up to fifteen days, but no less than seven days, to schedule a hearing. If the Board decides to suspend your license immediately, they will send a notice within one business day. In either case, failure to serve notice invalidates any resulting orders.

For any orders by the Board to be considered valid, you must be granted an opportunity to request a hearing prior to the adjudication of their decision. The only exception to this rule is in cases where state law requires that the Board revoke the license of the accused, such as in cases that present a danger of immediate and serious harm to others.

In all other situations, there must be a hearing in order for any decisions by the Board to be valid. The hearing officer will conduct the hearing on behalf of the Board. This hearing involves submitting evidence from both parties, followed by a written report by the hearing officer within thirty days. The hearing is not considered to be closed until the hearing officer formally declares it so. Both parties shall receive copies of the officer's recommendation and have up to ten days to file any written objections. The Board will only consider objections that are filed within the specified timeframe.

Motion to Reopen Hearing Record

If you choose to file a written objection, the Board may grant an extension for filing objections. The Board will address the hearing examiner's report as well as any objections at their next regularly scheduled meeting. At this meeting, the Board can order additional testimony, allow more evidence, or choose to move forward with the officer's recommendation. However, before this meeting, you may file a motion to reopen the hearing record, granting you the right to submit newly discovered evidence. In order to file this motion, you must include a memorandum contra, which is the opposing party's explanation of why the court should deny your motion. It is essential that you adhere to these exact requirements, or any additional evidence that you submit may be excluded from consideration.

Your license is the key to your livelihood, and knowing exactly what rights you are entitled to is crucial for continuing your career. Most importantly, you should take full advantage of your right to counsel. Due to strict deadlines and extensive paperwork, hiring the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team will enable you to take full advantage of your rights to achieve the most optimal outcome for your license. No matter what stage of the process you are in, the Lento Law Firm can and will negotiate on your behalf and craft the strongest possible case in your favor. Call us at 888-535-3686 or tell us about your case online.


Following the formal hearing conducted by the Board's attorney, the Board will examine the attorney's findings as well as review the hearing record transcripts, exhibits, and documents presented by the parties during the hearing. Five out of the nine voting members must be present for any given meeting. The Board will vote and come to a decision by the majority within ninety days of receiving the findings. Any decision made by the Board will be sent to the recipient in writing and contain findings of facts and conclusion of law.

Appeal Process

In all cases, following the Board's decision, you have the right to file an appeal. Your appeal must be addressed to both the court and the Board and must state why the Board's order lacks substantial, reliable, and probative evidence. Additionally, the appeal has to be filed within fifteen days of receiving the original notice and should emphasize why the order is not in accordance with the law. If the Board's decision is to suspend your license, filing an appeal does not automatically reverse the charges. The court may also temporarily lift a license suspension if it is clear to them that the party was subjected to unusual hardship. There will be a formal hearing in the same format as previously mentioned, which allows for oral arguments, submission of briefs, and presentation of evidence. Following the appeal hearing, the court may affirm, reverse, vacate, or modify the Board's order.

Disciplinary Charges

There are a wide range of disciplinary actions the Board may take against you, including:

  • Dismissal/No further action: The Board decides no punishment is necessary.
  • Reprimand: Although this decision may not include any further consequences, it is submitted as a formal notice and will still be put into the national database.
  • Probation/Limitation: The party must adhere to or avoid certain activities to maintain their license.
  • License Suspension: The party loses the ability to practice for a set period or must complete specific requirements before the license can be reinstated.
  • Revocation: The individual may no longer practice but can submit a new application in the future.
  • Permanent Revocation: The individual is ineligible to practice and cannot submit a new application in the future.

Remember, it is best to seek the counsel of the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team as soon as possible to give yourself the best possible defense against negative decisions with overly severe consequences.

Why You Should Retain the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team

Pharmacists conduct important and demanding work and provide an invaluable service to their communities. Allegations of possible misconduct can take your time, attention, and energy away from performing this important work. It can be extremely frustrating dealing with strict Board deadlines, extensive legal jargon, and convoluted Ohio Administrative Law statutes. The Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team has many years of experience defending pharmacists in Ohio and nationwide. We understand how allegations can be exacerbated, and in some cases, lead to the unfortunate derailing of your career. With responsibilities to patient outcomes and your own mental health, you deserve to have the Lento Law Firm's experienced Team on your side, providing effective legal representation and working toward the most favorable outcome possible. Call us at 888-535-3686 or tell us about your case online.


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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