The California State Board of Pharmacy has acted as a stern example for pharmacists and pharmacies across the Golden State, and the Fourth Appellate District court agrees with the Board’s decision.
Pharmacist Tue Hoang was in charge of Orange Pharmacy when the pharmacy refused an on-site fraud prevention review. The review was mandatory for pharmacies that wanted to submit claims for certain prescriptions under Medi-Cal, so Orange was excluded from the program.
Hoang was not thwarted for long, however, as he cooked up the scheme that would eventually land him in hot water with the Board. Hoang arranged for Orange Pharmacy to dispense Medi-Cal prescriptions, but would forward the information to another local pharmacy, Pacific Pharmacy. Pacific would then submit the claims as their own, and would return the payments to Orange.
When the California State Board of Pharmacy learned of the arrangement, Hoang was brought before an administrative law judge (ALJ), who recommended that Hoang’s pharmacist license and Orange Pharmacy’s permits essentially be placed on probation for five years. The Board opted to ignore the judge’s recommendation, and instead opted to permanently revoke Orange Pharmacy’s permit and Hoang’s license.
This latest event in California serves as an excellent example of what state pharmacy boards should be doing in response to regulation violations. Despite an ALJ’s much more lenient punishment suggestion, the state board held its pharmacists and pharmacies to a higher standard, and reacted in line with the great expectations and responsibilities that Hoang and Orange Pharmacy disregarded.
Unfortunately, not all state pharmacy boards react this swiftly or strictly when it comes to violations, and occasionally, people are hurt or killed as a result of their—sometimes intentional—oversights. If you have been hurt by the decisions made, or decisions that failed to be made, by your state pharmacy board, reach out to our firm today by clicking on the live chat feature to learn more about how your rights were violated.