As with physicians and nurses, pharmacists routinely undergo harsh scrutiny for any criminal convictions, particularly convictions involving substance abuse. New applicants, and renewal applicants, must disclose all convictions, including pleas of no contest or any convictions that were set aside or deferred pursuant to Sections 1000 or 1203.4 of the Penal Code, including infractions, misdemeanor, and felonies. Infractions with a fine of less than $500 need not be reported unless the infraction involved alcohol or controlled substances.
(a) Every license issued may be suspended or revoked.
(b) The board shall discipline the holder of any license issued by the board, whose default has been entered or whose case has been heard by the board and found guilty, by any of the following methods:
Placing him or her upon probation.
Suspending his or her right to practice for a period not exceeding one year.
Revoking his or her license.
Taking any other action in relation to disciplining him or her as the board in its discretion may deem proper.
(c) The board may refuse a license to any applicant guilty of unprofessional conduct. The board may, in its sole discretion, issue a probationary license to any applicant for a license who is guilty of unprofessional conduct and who has met all other requirements for licensure. The board may issue the license subject to any terms or conditions not contrary to public policy, including, but not limited to, the following:
Medical or psychiatric evaluation.
Continuing medical or psychiatric treatment.
Restriction of type or circumstances of practice.
Continuing participation in a board-approved rehabilitation program.
Abstention from the use of alcohol or drugs.
Random fluid testing for alcohol or drugs.
Compliance with laws and regulations governing the practice of pharmacy.
(d) The board may initiate disciplinary proceedings to revoke or suspend any probationary certificate of licensure for any violation of the terms and conditions of probation. Upon satisfactory completion of probation, the board shall convert the probationary certificate to a regular certificate, free of conditions.
(e) The proceedings under this article shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of the Government Code, and the board shall have all the powers granted therein. The action shall be final, except that the propriety of the action is subject to review by the superior court pursuant to Section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
B P 4300.1
The expiration, cancellation, forfeiture, or suspension of a board-issued license by operation of law or by order or decision of the board or a court of law, the placement of a license on a retired status, or the voluntary surrender of a license by a licensee shall not deprive the board of jurisdiction to commence or proceed with any investigation of, or action or disciplinary proceeding against, the licensee or to render a decision suspending or revoking the license.
B P 4301
The board shall take action against any holder of a license who is guilty of unprofessional conduct or whose license has been procured by fraud or misrepresentation or issued by mistake. Unprofessional conduct shall include, but is not limited to, any of the following:
(a) Gross immorality.
(c) Gross negligence.
(d) The clearly excessive furnishing of controlled substances in violation of subdivision
(a) of Section 11153 of the Health and Safety Code.
(e) The clearly excessive furnishing of controlled substances in violation of subdivision (a) of Section 11153.5 of the Health and Safety Code. Factors to be considered in determining whether the furnishing of controlled substances is clearly excessive shall include, but not be limited to, the amount of controlled substances furnished, the previous ordering pattern of the customer (including size and frequency of orders), the type and size of the customer, and where and to whom the customer distributes its product.
(f) The commission of any act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or corruption, whether the act is committed in the course of relations as a licensee or otherwise, and whether the act is a felony or misdemeanor or not.
(g) Knowingly making or signing any certificate or other document that falsely represents the existence or nonexistence of a state of facts.
(h) The administering to oneself, of any controlled substance, or the use of any dangerous drug or of alcoholic beverages to the extent or in a manner as to be dangerous or injurious to oneself, to a person holding a license under this chapter, or to any other person or to the public, or to the extent that the use impairs the ability of the person to conduct with safety to the public the practice authorized by the license.
(i) Except as otherwise authorized by law, knowingly selling, furnishing, giving away, or administering, or offering to sell, furnish, give away, or administer, any controlled substance to an addict.
(j) The violation of any of the statutes of this state, of any other state, or of the United States regulating controlled substances and dangerous drugs.
(k) The conviction of more than one misdemeanor or any felony involving the use, consumption, or self-administration of any dangerous drug or alcoholic beverage, or any combination of those substances.
(l) The conviction of a crime substantially related to the qualifications, functions, and duties of a licensee under this chapter. The record of conviction of a violation of Chapter 13 (commencing with Section 801) of Title 21 of the United States Code regulating controlled substances or of a violation of the statutes of this state regulating controlled substances or dangerous drugs shall be conclusive evidence of unprofessional conduct. In all other cases, the record of conviction shall be conclusive evidence only of the fact that the conviction occurred. The board may inquire into the circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime, in order to fix the degree of discipline or, in the case of a conviction not involving controlled substances or dangerous drugs, to determine if the conviction is of an offense substantially related to the qualifications, functions, and duties of a licensee under this chapter. A plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere is deemed to be a conviction within the meaning of this provision. The board may take action when the time for appeal has elapsed, or the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal or when an order granting probation is made suspending the imposition of sentence, irrespective of a subsequent order under Section 1203.4 of the Penal Code allowing the person to withdraw his or her plea of guilty and to enter a plea of not guilty, or setting aside the verdict of guilty, or dismissing the accusation, information, or indictment.
(m) The cash compromise of a charge of violation of Chapter 13 (commencing with Section 801) of Title 21 of the United States Code regulating controlled substances or of Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 14000) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code relating to the Medi-Cal program. The record of the compromise is conclusive evidence of unprofessional conduct.
(n) The revocation, suspension, or other discipline by another state of a license to practice pharmacy, operate a pharmacy, or do any other act for which a license is required by this chapter.
(o) Violating or attempting to violate, directly or indirectly, or assisting in or abetting the violation of or conspiring to violate any provision or term of this chapter or of the applicable federal and state laws and regulations governing pharmacy, including regulations established by the board or by any other state or federal regulatory agency.
(p) Actions or conduct that would have warranted denial of a license.
(q) Engaging in any conduct that subverts or attempts to subvert an investigation of the board.
(r) The selling, trading, transferring, or furnishing of drugs obtained pursuant to Section 256b of Title 42 of the United States Code to any person a licensee knows or reasonably should have known, not to be a patient of a covered entity, as defined in paragraph (4) of subsection (a) of Section 256b of Title 42 of the United States Code.
(s) The clearly excessive furnishing of dangerous drugs by a wholesaler to a pharmacy that primarily or solely dispenses prescription drugs to patients of long-term care facilities. Factors to be considered in determining whether the furnishing of dangerous drugs is clearly excessive shall include, but not be limited to, the amount of dangerous drugs furnished to a pharmacy that primarily or solely dispenses prescription drugs to patients of long-term care facilities, the previous ordering pattern of the pharmacy, and the general patient population to whom the pharmacy distributes the dangerous drugs. That a wholesaler has established, and employs, a tracking system that complies with the requirements of subdivision (b) of Section 4164 shall be considered in determining whether there has been a violation of this subdivision. This provision shall not be interpreted to require a wholesaler to obtain personal medical information or be authorized to permit a wholesaler to have access to personal medical information except as otherwise authorized by Section 56 and following of the Civil Code. For purposes of this section, “long-term care facility” shall have the same meaning given the term in Section 1418 of the Health and Safety Code.
B & P Â§ 4301.5
(a) If a pharmacist possesses a license or is otherwise authorized to practice pharmacy in any other state or by an agency of the federal government, and that license or authority is suspended or revoked, the pharmacist’s license shall be suspended automatically for the duration of the suspension or revocation, unless terminated or rescinded as provided in subdivision (c). The board shall notify the pharmacist of the license suspension and of his or her right to have the issue of penalty heard as provided in this section.
(b) Upon its own motion or for good cause shown, the board may decline to impose or may set aside the suspension when it appears to be in the interest of justice to do so, with due regard to maintaining the integrity of and confidence in the pharmacy profession.
(c) The issue of penalty shall be heard by an administrative law judge sitting alone, by a committee of the board sitting with an administrative law judge, or by the board sitting with an administrative law judge, at the board’s discretion. A pharmacist may request a hearing on the penalty and that hearing shall be held within 90 days from the date of the request. If the order suspending or revoking the pharmacist’s license or authority to practice pharmacy is overturned on appeal, any discipline ordered pursuant to this section shall automatically cease. Upon the showing to the administrative law judge, board, or committee of the board by the pharmacist that the out-of-state action is not a basis for discipline in California, the suspension shall be rescinded.
If an accusation for permanent discipline is not filed within 90 days of the suspension imposed pursuant to this section, the suspension shall automatically terminate.
(d) The record of the proceedings that resulted in the suspension or revocation of the pharmacist’s license or authority to practice pharmacy, including a transcript of the testimony therein, may be received in evidence.
(e) If a summary suspension has been issued pursuant to this section, the pharmacist may request that the hearing on the penalty conducted pursuant to subdivision (c) be held at the same time as a hearing on the accusation.
We make every endeavor to avoid a criminal conviction that could lead to a disciplinary action; but if that is not possible, we will guide you in the best way possible to mitigate any damage to your licensing and your livelihood.
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