The practice of pharmacy is a highly regulated profession—and rightly so, given the rampant and highly-publicized epidemic of drug abuse in the United States, to which Texas is no exception. Pharmacists go through a great deal of education and training to achieve their licenses, and should do everything they can to keep their livelihoods intact. At times they may be falsely accused of deceit. When they are, they should contact an experienced professional license defense attorney as soon as possible.
The Texas State Board of Pharmacy disciplines pharmacists for a wide range of potential violations of rules and laws that are applied to the profession, going beyond the supplying of controlled substances to those without a prescription, or violating any given drug-control statute. A pharmacist may also be disciplined for their own case of alcoholism or substance abuse. Or for committing acts of “gross immorality,” such as committing felonies. Or for merely engaging in unprofessional conduct, which Texas State Board of Pharmacy Rule 281.7(a) defines as "engaging in behavior or committing an act that fails to conform with the standards of the pharmacy profession, including, but not limited to, criminal activity or activity involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, or corruption."
Where it comes to dishonesty, Texas State Board of Pharmacy Rule 281.7(c) defines three separate forms that can be brought to bear on a complaint, where they are committed either in seeking a license to practice pharmacy or in the course of practicing as a pharmacist.
One of these is “misrepresentation,” which the rule defines as "a manifestation by words or other conduct which is a false representation of a matter of fact."
Another is “fraud,” which is considered "an intentional perversion of truth for the purpose of inducing another in reliance upon it to part with some valuable thing belonging to him, or to surrender a legal right, or to issue a license; a false representation of a matter of fact, whether by words or by conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of that which should have been disclosed, which deceives or is intended to deceive another."
And lastly, there is “deceit,” which is "the assertion, as a fact, of that which is not true by any means whatsoever to deceive or defraud another.”
These three categories share clear overlap, which just goes to show how mushy some of these rules become—and they contain a good amount of room for subjective judgment on the part of one who might file a complaint against their pharmacist with the Board. This indicates how easily a pharmacist might be improperly accused of engaging in deceit. Discipline may include a range of actions from reprimand to license revocation, depending on the severity of the allegations.
If you have been notified of a complaint of deceit filed against you with the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, BERTOLINO LLP can help. Our experienced Pharmacy license defense attorneys are skilled at navigating the TSPB's complaint process. We are prepared to represent you at any legal hearing or proceeding regarding your professional license. With offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, we serve clients all over the state. As experienced attorneys, well-versed in state and federal laws, we know how to win. Contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 to schedule a case evaluation.