State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Arizona > Title32 > 32-1927

32-1927. Pharmacists; pharmacy interns; graduate interns; disciplinary action

A. A pharmacist, pharmacy intern or graduate intern is subject to disciplinary action by the board for any of the following:

1. The board determines that the licensee has committed an act of unprofessional conduct.

2. The licensee is found by psychiatric examination to be mentally unfit to practice the profession of pharmacy.

3. The licensee is found to be physically or mentally incapacitated to such a degree as to render the licensee unfit to practice the profession of pharmacy.

4. The licensee is found to be professionally incompetent to such a degree as to render the licensee unfit to practice the profession of pharmacy.

5. The license was issued through error.

B. A pharmacist, pharmacy intern or graduate intern who after a formal hearing is found by the board to be guilty of unprofessional conduct, to be mentally or physically unable safely to engage in the practice of pharmacy or to be professionally incompetent is subject to any one or combination of the following:

1. A civil penalty of not to exceed one thousand dollars for each violation of this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter.

2. A letter of reprimand.

3. A decree of censure.

4. Probation.

5. Suspension or revocation of the license.

C. The board may charge the costs of formal hearings to the licensee who it finds to be in violation of this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter.

D. The board on its own motion may investigate any evidence that appears to show that a pharmacist, pharmacy intern or graduate intern is or may be professionally incompetent, is or may be guilty of unprofessional conduct or is or may be mentally or physically unable safely to engage in the practice of pharmacy. Any person may, and a licensee or permittee of the board must, report to the board any information that appears to show that a pharmacist, pharmacy intern or graduate intern is or may be professionally incompetent, is or may be guilty of unprofessional conduct or is or may be mentally or physically unable safely to engage in the practice of pharmacy. The board or the executive director shall notify the pharmacist, pharmacy intern or graduate intern as to the content of the complaint as soon as reasonable. Any person or entity that reports or provides information to the board in good faith is not subject to an action for civil damages. It is an act of unprofessional conduct for any pharmacist, pharmacy intern or graduate intern to fail to report as required by this section.

E. The pharmacy permittee or pharmacist in charge of a pharmacy located in this state must inform the board if a pharmacist, pharmacy intern or graduate intern employed by the pharmacy is terminated because of actions by the pharmacist, pharmacy intern or graduate intern that appear to show that the pharmacist, pharmacy intern or graduate intern is or may be professionally incompetent, is or may be guilty of unprofessional conduct or is or may be mentally or physically unable safely to engage in the practice of pharmacy, along with a general statement of the reasons that led the pharmacy to take the action. The pharmacy permittee or pharmacist in charge of a pharmacy located in this state must inform the board if a pharmacist, pharmacy intern or graduate intern under investigation resigns or if a pharmacist, pharmacy intern or graduate intern resigns in lieu of disciplinary action by the pharmacy. Notification must include a general statement of the reasons for the resignation. A person who reports information in good faith pursuant to this subsection is not subject to civil liability.

F. The board or, if delegated by the board, the executive director shall require any combination of mental, physical, psychological, psychiatric or medical competency examinations or pharmacist licensure examinations and conduct necessary investigations including investigational interviews between representatives of the board and the pharmacist, pharmacy intern or graduate intern to fully inform itself about any information filed with the board under this section. These examinations may also include biological fluid testing. The board may require the pharmacist, pharmacy intern or graduate intern, at that person's expense, to undergo assessment by a board approved substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation program.

G. If after completing its investigation the board finds that the information provided pursuant to this section is not of sufficient seriousness to merit disciplinary action against the license of the pharmacist, pharmacy intern or graduate intern, the board may take any of the following actions:

1. Dismiss if the complaint is without merit.

2. File an advisory letter. The licensee may file a written response with the board within thirty days after receiving the advisory letter.

H. The board shall not disclose the name of the person who provided information regarding a licensee's drug or alcohol impairment or the name of the person who files a complaint if that person requests anonymity.

I. If after completing its investigation the board believes that the information is or may be true, it may request a conference with the pharmacist, pharmacy intern or graduate intern. If the pharmacist, pharmacy intern or graduate intern refuses the invitation for conference and the investigation indicates that grounds may exist for revocation or suspension of a license, probation, issuance of a decree of censure or a letter of reprimand or imposition of a civil penalty, the board shall issue a formal notice that a hearing be held pursuant to title 41, chapter 6, article 10.

J. If through information provided pursuant to this section or by other means, the board finds that the protection of the public health, welfare and safety requires emergency action against the license of a pharmacist, pharmacy intern or graduate intern, it may order a summary suspension of the license pending a formal hearing for license revocation or other action authorized by this section to be held by the board within ten days after it issues the order.

K. If after completing the conference the board finds the information provided pursuant to this section is not of sufficient seriousness to merit revocation or suspension of a license, probation, issuance of a decree of censure or a letter of reprimand or imposition of a civil penalty, it may take the following actions:

1. Dismiss if the information is without merit.

2. File an advisory letter. The licensee may file a written response with the board within thirty days after the licensee receives the advisory letter.

L. If during a conference the board finds that the information provided pursuant to this section indicates that grounds may exist for revocation or suspension of a license, probation, issuance of a decree of censure or a letter of reprimand or imposition of a civil penalty, it may take the following actions:

1. Dismiss if the information is without merit.

2. File an advisory letter. The licensee may file a written response with the board within thirty days after the licensee receives the advisory letter.

3. Enter into an agreement with the licensee to discipline the licensee, restrict the licensee's practice or professional activities or rehabilitate, retrain or assess the licensee in order to protect the public and ensure the licensee's ability to safely engage in the practice of pharmacy. The agreement may include at least the following:

(a) Issuance of a letter of reprimand.

(b) Issuance of a decree of censure.

(c) Practice or professional restrictions, such as not acting as a pharmacist in charge or pharmacy intern preceptor or working with another pharmacist.

(d) Rehabilitative, retraining or assessment programs including:

(i) Board approved community service.

(ii) Successful completion of additional pharmacist continuing education hours.

(iii) Successful passage of board approved pharmacist licensure examinations.

(iv) Successful completion of a board approved substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation program at the licensee's own expense.

(e) A civil penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars for each violation of this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter.

(f) A period and terms of probation best adapted to protect the public health and safety and rehabilitate or educate the licensee concerned. Probation may include temporary suspension and any or all of the disciplinary actions, practice or professional restrictions, rehabilitative, retraining or assessment programs listed in this section or any other program agreed to by the board and the licensee.

M. If the board finds that the information provided pursuant to this section and additional information provided during the conference warrants revocation or suspension of a license, probation, issuance of a decree of censure or a letter of reprimand or imposition of a civil penalty, it shall initiate formal proceedings pursuant to title 41, chapter 6, article 10.

N. If the board finds that the information provided pursuant to this section warrants revocation or suspension of a license, probation, issuance of a decree of censure or a letter of reprimand or imposition of a civil penalty, it shall initiate formal proceedings pursuant to title 41, chapter 6, article 10.

O. If the licensee wishes to be present at the formal hearing in person or by representation, or both, the licensee must file with the board an answer to the charges in the notice of hearing. The answer must be in writing, verified under oath and filed within thirty days after service of the notice of hearing. Failure to answer the board's notice of hearing is deemed an admission of the charges in the notice of hearing.

P. An advisory letter is a nondisciplinary public document.

Q. If the board during an investigation determines that a criminal violation might have occurred, it shall disclose its investigative evidence and information to the appropriate criminal justice agency for its consideration.

R. In determining the appropriate disciplinary action under this section, the board shall consider all previous nondisciplinary and disciplinary actions against a licensee.

S. The board may deny a license to an applicant for the grounds prescribed in subsection A of this section.

T. A person licensed pursuant to this chapter or by any other jurisdiction who has a license revoked or suspended shall not obtain a license as a pharmacy intern, graduate intern, pharmacy technician or pharmacy technician trainee or work as a pharmacy intern, graduate intern, pharmacy technician or pharmacy technician trainee without the approval of the board or its designee.