Legal Defense for Missouri Pharmacies and Distributors
The Missouri Board of Pharmacy regulates retail pharmacies, drug distributors, and other entities. Licensed pharmacists may face disciplinary action for the conduct of individuals acting under their supervision or authority. Detailed statutes and regulations govern corporate entities that are engaged in the practice of pharmacy. Those accused of misconduct face potential suspension or revocation of their permits, leading to closure of their businesses. If you own or operate a Missouri pharmacy or distributor and receive a complaint from the Board, contact the Law Offices of Kevin J. Dolley for experienced representation designed to protect your rights and your business.
Missouri Pharmacies and Pharmacists-in-Charge
A pharmacy is any location where the practice of pharmacy occurs or pharmacy services are offered by a pharmacist or someone acting under a pharmacist’s authority. This includes locations where drugs are compounded, prepared, dispensed, sold, or offered for sale. Retail pharmacies, hospital pharmacies, pharmacies within long-term care and other medical facilities, internet pharmacies, and specialty pharmacies are regulated by the Board. Locations where patient records are maintained and locations advertising themselves as pharmacies, drugstores, or apothecaries are also covered. These entities must have a license from the Board to operate and must adhere to detailed statutes and regulations.
Potential Discipline for Missouri Pharmacies
The holder of a permit to operate a pharmacy may face disciplinary action against his or her permit for:
- Use of a controlled substance;
- Drug law violations, including narcotic diversion;
- Enabling an unregistered in ineligible person to practice pharmacy;
- Failure to display a valid permit;
- False, misleading, or deceptive advertising;
- Changing or substituting the content or formula of any prescribed drug without approval from the provider;
- Failure to have a supervising registered pharmacist;
- Failure to equip the pharmacy with proper pharmaceutical and sanitary appliances and keep it in a clean, sanitary, and orderly manner;
- Receiving or purchasing legend drugs from anyone other than a properly licensed or registered entity; and
- Violation of Missouri statutes and regulations governing the practice of pharmacy.
The Board may file a complaint against a permit holder with the Administrative Hearing Commission (“AHC”) if the Board believes a pharmacy is not being operated or conducted according to Missouri law. The permit holder has the right to a trial-type evidentiary hearing in which he or she has the right to an attorney, the right to cross examine witnesses, and the right to call witnesses and present evidence. If cause for discipline is found to exist, the permit holder has a second hearing before the Board. Potential discipline includes placing the pharmacy permit on probation, suspending the permit, or revoking the permit. Certain violations could also result in misdemeanor criminal prosecution. Additionally, a pharmacist-in-charge may be liable and face discipline from the Board against his or her individual license for the conduct of someone the pharmacist-in-charge supervises that occurs at a pharmacy.
Distributors, Outsourcers, and Third-Party Logistics Providers
Wholesale drug distributors, pharmacy distributors, drug outsourcers, and third-party logistics providers must have a license from the Board to operate in Missouri. Separate licenses may be required for each distribution site owned or operated by a distributor. Individuals working for these entities may not sell or distribute drugs in Missouri unless their employer has a license. Violations may result in administrative, civil, or even criminal penalties.
The Board may file a complaint alleging violations of Missouri law against these entities. These complaints are handled according to the procedure outlined above. Substantiated violations can result in probation, license suspension, or license revocation. Additionally, if the Board believes a distributor has committed an act that constitutes a “clear and present danger to the public health or safety in Missouri,” the Board may seek an expedited hearing. Strict timelines govern these cases, and a finding against the licensee can result in immediate license suspension. A second disciplinary hearing may follow in which permanent discipline is at issue. Distributors may also face an injunction in circuit court for conduct the Board alleges presents a probability of serious danger to the health, safety, or welfare of any patient Missouri resident. In certain situations, criminal prosecution is possible.
Distributors faced with these allegations need representation from an attorney capable of competently litigating these cases on short notice. The Law Offices of Kevin J. Dolley has the resources and experience necessary to defend your Missouri wholesale drug distributor or pharmacy distributor against a complaint filed by the Board. The Firm provides comprehensive representation in administrative, civil, and criminal proceedings and can help protect your license and business.
If you are notified that a complaint has been made against your Missouri pharmacy permit, distributor license, or pharmacist license, contact the Law Offices of Kevin J. Dolley to obtain experienced legal counsel to address the situation by calling (314) 645-4100 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.