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Is your license at risk for violating state pharmacy law?

As a licensed pharmacist, you have to follow the guidelines established by the California State Board of Pharmacy, Department of Consumer Affairs.

If accused of a violation in one of four categories as outlined by the Board, your could have your license revoked.

Understanding categories

The California State Board of Pharmacy has established four categories of offenses to determine the proper level of punishment for violations. In many cases, the Board considers license revocation the appropriate penalty. If the Board recommends suspension, the length of time begins at 30 days for an individual or 14 days for a licensed pharmacy. Grounds for disciplinary action include violations of pharmacy law, regulations set by the Board and state or federal law.

Category I

Violations grouped under Category I are the least serious. The Board may recommend disciplinary action for faulty record keeping, inventory control, labeling requirements or similar issues. Revocation can stop, but you could face up to two years' probation.

Category II

Violations under Category II are those with the potential for causing serious harm; for example, diversion of controlled substances, disregard for pharmacy law and public safety. The Board may stay license revocation, but impose up to three years of probation.

Category III

Disciplinary action for Category III violations takes Category II punishment to the next level. With these violations, the potential for serious harm is greater and can include criminal convictions for substance, drug or alcohol abuse or for dispensing drugs without prescriptions. Punishment may include a stay of license revocation, but up to 90 days suspension and three to five years' probation.

Category IV

Reserved for the worst offenses, the only penalty for a Category IV violation is license revocation.

Protecting your license

Legal assistance is critical if accused of a violation. If you fail to file a notice of defense with the Board, or if you do not appear at a hearing, your license as a pharmacist will be automatically revoked. The Board has final authority as to the disciplinary action imposed outside judicial review.

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