State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_90 > GS_90-85_47

§ 90‑85.47.  Pharmacyquality assurance program required; limited liability; discovery.

(a)        Every person orentity holding a valid pharmacy permit pursuant to G.S. 90‑85.21 or G.S.90‑85.21A shall establish or participate in a pharmacy quality assuranceprogram as defined under G.S. 90‑85.46(2), to evaluate the following:

(1)        The quality of thepractice of pharmacy.

(2)        The cause of allegedmedication errors and incidents.

(3)        Pharmaceutical careoutcomes.

(4)        Possibleimprovements for the practice of pharmacy.

(5)        Methods to reducealleged medication errors and incidents.

(b)        There shall be nomonetary liability on the part of, or no cause of action for damages arisingagainst, any member of a duly appointed pharmacy quality assurance program orany pharmacy or pharmacist furnishing information to a pharmacy qualityassurance program or any person, including a person acting as a witness orincident reporter to or investigator for a pharmacy quality assurance program,for any act or proceeding undertaken or performed within the scope of thefunctions of the pharmacy quality assurance program.

(c)        This section shallnot be construed to confer immunity from liability on any professionalassociation, pharmacy or pharmacist, or health care provider while performingservices other than as a member of a pharmacy quality assurance program or uponany person, including a person acting as a witness or incident reporter to orinvestigator for a pharmacy quality assurance program, for any act orproceeding undertaken or performed outside the scope of the functions of thepharmacy quality assurance program. Except as provided in subsection (a) or (b)of this section, where a cause of action would arise against a pharmacy,pharmacist, or an individual health care provider, the cause of action shallremain in effect.

(d)        The proceedings ofa pharmacy quality assurance program, the records and materials it produces,and the materials it considers shall be confidential and not considered publicrecords within the meaning of G.S. 132‑1 or G.S. 58‑2‑100 andshall not be subject to discovery or introduction into evidence in any civilaction, administrative hearing or Board investigation against a pharmacy,pharmacist, pharmacy technician, a pharmacist manager or a permittee or a hospitallicensed under Chapter 122C or Chapter 131E of the General Statutes or that isowned or operated by the State, which civil action, administrative hearing orBoard Investigation results from matters that are the subject of evaluation andreview by the pharmacy quality assurance program. No person who was inattendance at a meeting of the pharmacy quality assurance program shall berequired to testify in any civil action, administrative hearing or Boardinvestigation as to any evidence or other matters produced or presented duringthe proceedings of the pharmacy quality assurance program or as to anyfindings, recommendations, evaluations, opinions, or other actions of thepharmacy quality assurance program or its members. However, information,documents, or records otherwise available are not immune from discovery or usein a civil action merely because they were presented during proceedings of thepharmacy quality assurance program. Documents otherwise available as publicrecords within the meaning of G.S. 132‑1 do not lose their status aspublic records merely because they were presented or considered duringproceedings of the pharmacy quality assurance program. A member of the pharmacyquality assurance program may testify in a civil or administrative action butcannot be asked about the person's testimony before the pharmacy qualityassurance program or any opinions formed as a result of the pharmacy qualityassurance program. Nothing in this subsection shall preclude:

(1)        A pharmacy,pharmacist, pharmacy technician, or other person or any agent or representativeof a pharmacy, pharmacist, pharmacy technician or other person participating ona pharmacy quality assurance program may use otherwise privileged, confidentialinformation for legitimate internal business or professional purposes of thepharmacy quality assurance program.

(2)        A pharmacy,pharmacist, pharmacy technician, other person participating on the committee,or any person or organization named as a defendant in a civil action, arespondent in an administrative proceeding, or a pharmacy, pharmacist, orpharmacy technician subject to a Board investigation as a result ofparticipation in the pharmacy quality assurance program may use otherwiseprivileged, confidential information in the pharmacy quality assurance programor person's own defense. A plaintiff in the civil action or the agency in theadministrative proceeding may disclose records or determinations of orcommunications to the pharmacy quality assurance program in rebuttal to informationgiven by the defendant, respondent, or pharmacist subject to Boardinvestigation.

(e)        Upon the Boardproviding written notice to the pharmacy permittee's designated agent underG.S. 90‑85.21(a) and pharmacist of an investigation against the pharmacist,including the specific reason for the Board investigation, the pharmacypermittee's designated agent shall compile and provide documentation within 10days of the receipt of the notice of any alleged medication error or incidentcommitted by the pharmacist in the 12 months preceding the receipt of thenotice, that the pharmacy permittee has knowledge of, when:

(1)        The allegedmedication error or incident resulted in any of the following:

a.         A visit to aphysician or an emergency room attributed to the alleged medication incident orerror.

b.         Hospitalizationrequiring an overnight stay or longer.

c.         A fatality.

(2)        The Board hasinitiated a disciplinary proceeding against the pharmacist as a result of theinvestigation. Unless the documentation relates to an alleged medication erroror incident that was specifically the cause of the investigation, the Board mayreview the documentation only after the Board has made findings of fact andconclusions of law pursuant to G.S. 150B‑42(a) and may use the documentationin determining the remedial action the pharmacist shall undergo as part of thedisciplinary action imposed by the Board. The documentation shall be releasedonly to the Board or its designated employees pursuant to this subsection andshall not otherwise be released except as required by law.

The documentation provided tothe Board shall not include the proceedings and records of a pharmacy qualityassurance program or information prepared by the pharmacy solely forconsideration by or upon request of a pharmacy quality assurance program.

(f)         Nothing in thissection shall preclude the Board from obtaining information concerning aspecific alleged medication error or incident that is the subject of a Boardinvestigation resulting from a complaint to the Board. (2005‑427, s. 3; 2006‑259,s. 16(b).)