An Ohio pharmacist is the center of much controversy after losing her license for taking two capsules for a headache. Reports indicate that the 67-year-old pharmacy co-owner has lost her license and retired early following a brief lapse in judgment. The woman sought the help of a nurse friend to prescribe two capsules for her headache. The stock of the drug in question was being monitored by the state Board of Pharmacy.
The pharmacist was originally indicted on a fourth-degree felony theft charge for allegedly taking the two capsules back in August 2020. The charges were amended to misdemeanor theft of drugs, and a provision that a dangerous drug had been involved was removed. Now, the woman is retiring early and letting her son take over her business.
“It is very embarrassing. I knew I should not have done it,” she said. “I knew it was wrong. I am sorry for my actions.”
The Legality of Self-Prescribing
Pharmacists walk a fine line when doling out medications to themselves or their loved ones. Under federal law, pharmacists are not allowed to prescribe orders for themselves or immediate family members. While the Ohio pharmacist in question sought the assistance of a nurse friend, it wasn't enough to protect herself from the fallout. Had her nurse friend called in the prescription to another pharmacy, all would likely have worked out fine.
The case is further complicated by Ohio's expanded prescribing authority rules. In the Buckeye State, pharmacists are allowed to enter a consultation agreement with physicians. Upon entering into such an agreement, they become managing pharmacists who can issue a prescription for specific medications and provide non-controlled drugs. While we don't know which drug was prescribed in the aforementioned situation, we can only assume it was under the close watch of the Board of Pharmacy for a reason.
The Impact of Two Capsules
Two capsules were all it took to damage an otherwise spotless record. The pharmacist in question had zero record of misbehavior or ethical violations. Now, she's being forced into an early retirement and is giving up her role as co-owner of her pharmacy. It just goes to show how seriously the Board of Pharmacy takes even the most minor of violations.
Hindsight is always 20/20. While it's easy to look back now and clearly see where this pharmacist went wrong, taking two capsules for a headache shouldn't spell the end of an otherwise successful career. Minor lapses in professional judgment happen all the time, but when the stakes are this high, the consequences can be significant.
Take Action to Protect Your License
If you believe you're the subject of a Board of Pharmacy investigation, it's important to take swift action. With your reputation and career on the line, there's no time to waste. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has the experience necessary to navigate the complex disciplinary process associated with such cases. For the best possible outcome, contact the Lento Law Firm at (888) 535-3686 today.