When a pharmacist acts negligently and patients suffer injuries or death after they received the wrong medication or wrong dose of medication, victims or their loved ones may write a complaint to the State Board of Pharmacy to open an investigation. The investigation process starts with a written complaint to the Board of Pharmacy, the organization responsible for regulating the practice of pharmacy in its given state. Most letters of complaint regarding injuries discuss how a particular pharmacist breached the standard of care for:
- Dispensing errors
- Failure to supervise technicians
- Failure to fulfill duties of a Pharmacist In Charge (PIC)
- Filling expired prescriptions
- Unprofessional conduct
The State Board of Pharmacy can discipline the pharmacist for his or her negligent actions; however, the final ruling may take a while. This is because after it receives the complaint letter, it conducts a formal investigation. The steps of the investigation include:
- Informal settlement conference
- Agreed order negotiations
- SOAH contested case hearing process
- Appeals and motions for hearing
- Temporary suspension hearing
- Probation or agreed order violation
The board has the authority to make necessary disciplinary decisions because of the power granted to it by the state through the state’s Pharmacy Act. If the board decides to discipline a pharmacist or pharmacy, it has the power to suspend, restrict or revoke specific licenses in order to punish that licensee for a breach of the standard of care and to regulate the practice of pharmacy.
If you believe you have a pharmacy malpractice case, call the skilled pharmacy error law firm Kennedy Hodges, L.L.P. at 888-526-7616 for a free consultation. You also can request a FREE copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.