While every state has a board that oversees pharmacy laws and should inspect pharmacies to protect the public, most states don’t have the funding to hire enough inspection agents. This means that many Boards of Pharmacy simply don’t have the time to focus on pharmacy errors that have occurred. Instead, their time is often taken up with disciplining bad pharmacists.
While a State Board of Pharmacy should investigate all medication complaints that come their way, they are often preoccupied with catching bad pharmacists—those guilty of criminal acts instead of those who make random pharmacy errors. For example, here’s what some different boards have been up to recently:
- The Texas State Board of Pharmacy suspended a Denton pharmacy’s license. The board has been investigating Megs Discount Pharmacy and the pharmacy’s owner for about two years. After a lengthy investigation, the board suspended the pharmacist license for Susan Megwa, the owner and sole pharmacist at the pharmacy, and the pharmacy license for Megs Discount Pharmacy. The board’s disciplinary panel recently came to this decision after reviewing evidence that indicated the pharmacy was a threat to the public’s health and safety. According to the board’s investigation, Megwa provided controlled substances to an informant and was caught selling hydrocodone and alprazolam pills to an informant without prescriptions. As a result, the board ordered Megwa not to practice pharmacy in Texas.
- The Georgia State Board of Pharmacy recently suspended a Newnan pharmacist’s license for five years; however, because it is retroactive, Amy Elizabeth Matistic, the pharmacist in question, will be able to practice again on October 5, 2014. She will then be placed on probation until October 5, 2022, and will not be able to be a pharmacist in charge or own a pharmacy during this time. The board also fined her $25,000 as a result of writing fake prescriptions for controlled substances and distributing narcotics.
If you have suffered harm as a result of a pharmacy error, it is still in your best interest to report the incident to your State Board of Pharmacy, but you should also know that you might not hear back from them for a while. In the meantime, you should seek legal counsel and learn about your rights to a pharmacy malpractice claim. You can learn more by ordering a free copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.