The Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP) is the regulatory agency for Texas pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacies. The TSBP investigates and resolves complaints made against licensees.
The TSBP received 5,931 complaints in fiscal year 2018, which was a slight decrease from FY2017 but is comparable to recent prior years. Every complaint the Board receives is reviewed and evaluated. If it is determined that the allegations, if true, would constitute a violation of the Texas Pharmacy Act or Texas Drug Laws, then the complaint may be referred to a TSPB investigator.
Resolving Complaints Against a Texas Pharmacist or Pharmacy
Complaints are resolved pursuant to the Texas Pharmacy Rules. Contested cases may be resolved by informal disposition via stipulation, agreed settlement, contest order, default, or dismissal. 22 Tex. Admin. Code §281.22(a).
After an investigation has been opened and before disciplinary action can be imposed, the TSBP must provide the licensee with written notice of the matter that includes:
- A statement of the legal authority, jurisdiction, and alleged conduct under which the enforcement action is based, with reference to the particular section(s) of the statutes and rules involved;
- Information the board staff intends to use at an informal conference;
- An offer for the respondent to attend an informal conference at a specified time and place and show compliance with all requirements of law;
- A statement that the respondent has an opportunity for a hearing before the State Office of Administrative Hearings on the allegations; and
- The following statement in capital letters in 12 point boldface type: FAILURE TO RESPOND TO THE ALLEGATIONS, BY EITHER PERSONAL APPEARANCE AT THE INFORMAL CONFERENCE OR IN WRITING, WILL RESULT IN THE ALLEGATIONS BEING ADMITTED AS TRUE AND THE RECOMMENDED SANCTION MADE AT THE INFORMAL CONFERENCE BEING GRANTED BY DEFAULT.
22 Tex. Admin. Code §281.22(b). The Board must serve the notice in person or by mail with return receipt requested to the licensee’s last known address of record with the agency. 22 Tex. Admin. Code §281.22(b)(5). The licensee can respond by personal appearance at the informal conference, or by providing a rebuttal in writing no later than 15 days before the date of the informal conference. 22 Tex. Admin. Code §281.22(d).
After the informal settlement conference, a panel comprised of Board staff or Board members will then propose a recommendation for settlement of the case, including any sanctions. If the licensee accepts the recommendation (the proposed Agreed Board Order) then it is presented to the Board at its next regularly scheduled meeting. 22 Tex. Admin. Code §281.22(k).
If the licensee does not accept the proposed Order, or the Board rejects it, the case will proceed to a contested case hearing at the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). After the hearing, the ALJ will submit a Proposal for Decision to the TSBP, and then the Board gets to render the final decision in the case. 22 Tex. Admin. Code §281.33.
The TSBP is authorized to impose a number of disciplinary actions, including:
- License revocation or suspension.
- License restriction to prohibit a licensee from performing certain acts or from practicing pharmacy or operating a pharmacy in a particular manner for a term and under conditions determined by the board.
- Refusal to issue or renew a license.
- Placing the offender’s license on probation and supervision by the board for a period determined by the board and impose a requirement that the license holder:
- Report regularly to the board on matters that are the basis of the probation;
- Limit practice to the areas prescribed by the board;
- Continue or review professional education until the license holder attains a degree of skill satisfactory to the board in each area that is the basis of the probation; or
- Pay the board a probation fee to defray the costs of monitoring the license holder during the period of probation.
- Assessing an administrative penalty.
- Reprimand the person.
Tex. Occ. Code §565.051. The Board may impose more than one of the sanctions listed above.
Defending Your Pharmacist or Pharmacy License
A licensed pharmacist or pharmacy has several opportunities to defend a Texas State Board of Pharmacy license throughout the complaint and investigation process. Further, all professional licensees have the right to be represented at every stage of a complaint. Hiring an attorney to help you mount a strong defense serves to protect your license, reputation, financial interests, and your career.
If you have been notified of a complaint filed against you with the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, BERTOLINO LLP can help. We are experienced Pharmacy license defense attorneys and we know how to navigate the TSPB’s complaint process. We are prepared to represent you at any legal hearing or proceeding regarding your professional license.
Our firm believes that immediately consulting an experienced Board of Pharmacy license defense attorney to review allegations of misconduct helps ensure the most favorable outcome in your case. Our results speak for themselves.
BERTOLINO LLP represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. Our honest, experienced attorneys will fight aggressively on behalf of your license and reputation.
Contact us today or call (512) 476-5757 and schedule a case evaluation.