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Alabama Pharmacist and Technician Charge Penalties.

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Posted Below Are Current Statutes in the State of Alabama:

34-23-1. Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings:
(1) Association. The Alabama Pharmacy Association.
(2) Board or State Board. The Alabama State Board of Pharmacy.
(3) Chemical. Any substance of a medicinal nature, whether simple or compound, obtained through the process of the science and art of chemistry, whether of organic or inorganic origin.
(4) Dispense. To sell, distribute, administer, leave with, give away, dispose of, deliver, or supply a drug or medicine to the ultimate user or their agent.
(5) Drugs. All medicinal substances, preparations, and devices recognized by the United States Pharmacopoeia and National Formulary, or any revision thereof, and all substances and preparations intended for external and internal use in the cure, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in man or animal and all substances and preparations other than food intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or animal.
(6) Extern. A candidate for licensure as a pharmacist during the time prior to graduation from an accredited college of pharmacy.
(7) Hospital. An institution for the care and treatment of the sick and injured, licensed by the Alabama State Board of Health and authorized to be entrusted with the custody of drugs and medicines, the professional use of drugs and medicines being under the direct supervision of a medical practitioner or pharmacist.
(8) Intern. An individual who is currently licensed by this state to engage in the practice of pharmacy while under the personal supervision of a pharmacist and is satisfactorily progressing toward meeting the requirements for licensure as a pharmacist; or a graduate of an approved college of pharmacy who is currently licensed by the State Board of Pharmacy for the purpose of obtaining practical experience as a requirement for licensure as a pharmacist; or a qualified applicant awaiting examination for licensure.
(9) Legend drug. Any drug, medicine, chemical, or poison bearing on the label the words, “caution, federal law prohibits dispensing without prescription,” or similar wording indicating that such drug, medicine, chemical, or poison may be sold or dispensed only upon the prescription of a licensed medical practitioner.
(10) License. The grant of authority by the State Board of Pharmacy to a person authorizing him or her to engage in the practice of pharmacy in this state.
(11) Manufacturer. A person, except a pharmacy, who prepares, derives, produces, compounds, or packages any drug, medicine, chemical, or poison.
(12) Medical practitioner. Any physician, dentist, or veterinarian, or any other person authorized by law to treat, use, or prescribe medicine and drugs for sick and injured human beings or animals in this state.
(13) Medicine. Any drug or combination of drugs that has the property of curing, diagnosing, preventing, treating, or mitigating diseases or that which may be used for those purposes.
(14) Patent or proprietary medicines. Completely compounded nonprescription packaged drugs, medicines, and nonbulk chemicals which are sold, offered, promoted, or advertised by the manufacturer or primary distributor under a trademark, trade name, or other trade symbol, and the labeling of which conforms to the requirements of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; provided, that this definition shall not include:
a. Drugs which are only advertised and promoted professionally to licensed physicians, dentists, or veterinarians by manufacturers or primary distributors.
b. A narcotic or drug containing a narcotic.
c. A drug the label of which bears substantially either the statements “caution–federal law prohibits dispensing without prescription” or “warning–may be habit-forming”.
d. A drug intended for injection.
(15) Permit. The grant of authority by the State Board of Pharmacy to any person, firm, or corporation authorizing the operation of a pharmacy, wholesale drug distributor, repackager, bottler, manufacturer, or packer of drugs, medicines, chemicals, or poisons for medicinal purposes. Nonresident wholesale drug distributors registered with the appropriate agency, in the state in which they are domiciled, and operating in compliance with Prescription Drug Marketing Act standards, shall be allowed to do business in this state. No permit shall be required of any physician licensed to practice medicine for any act or conduct related to or connected with his or her professional practice.
(16) Person. Any individual, partnership, corporation, association, trust, or other entity.
(17) Pharmacist. Any person licensed by the Alabama State Board of Pharmacy to practice the profession of pharmacy in the State of Alabama and whose license is in good standing.
(18) Pharmacy. A place licensed by the Alabama State Board of Pharmacy in which prescriptions, drugs, medicines, medical devices, chemicals, and poisons are sold, offered for sale, compounded, or dispensed, and shall include all places whose title may imply the sale, offering for sale, compounding, or dispensing of prescriptions, drugs, medicines, chemicals, or poisons.
(19) Poison. Any substance other than agricultural products and pesticides which when applied to, introduced into, or developed within the body in relatively small quantities by its inherent chemical action uniformly produces serious bodily injury, disease, or death.
(20) Preceptor. A person who is duly licensed to practice pharmacy in the state and meets the requirements as established by the State Board of Pharmacy.
(21) Prescription. Any order for drug or medical supplies, written or signed or transmitted by word of mouth, telephone, telegraph, closed circuit television, or other means of communication by a legally competent practitioner, licensed by law to prescribe and administer such drugs and medical supplies intended to be filled, compounded, or dispensed by a pharmacist.
(22) Professional degree. A degree in pharmacy requiring a minimum of five academic years.
(23) Repackager. A person who purchases or acquires from a manufacturer or distributor, a drug, medicine, chemical, or poison for the purpose of bottling, labeling, or otherwise repackaging for sale or distribution. This definition shall not apply to a physician licensed to practice medicine who as a part of his or her professional practice dispenses, administers, sells, or otherwise distributes any drug to a patient.
(24) Sale. Barter, exchange, or gift, or offer of barter, exchange, or gift, and shall include each transaction made by any person, whether a principal, proprietor, agent, servant, or employee.
(25) Wholesale drug distributors. A person engaged in the business of distributing drugs and medicines for resale to pharmacies, hospitals, practitioners, government agencies, or other lawful outlets permitted to sell drugs or medicines. The sale, purchase, or trade of a drug by a retail pharmacy to another retail pharmacy or practitioner, for relief of temporary shortages, is exempt from this definition. Also exempt from this definition shall be (a) intracompany sales, (b) manufacturer and distributor sales representatives who distribute drug samples, (c) charitable organizations distributing to nonprofit affiliates of that organization, (d) certain purchases by hospitals or other health care entities that are members of a group purchasing organization, and (e) the distributors of blood and blood components.

34-23-30. Pharmacies, drugstores, etc., to register and obtain permit.

very pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, drugstore, pharmacy department, prescription department, prescription laboratory, dispensary, apothecary or any other establishment with a title implying the sale, offering for sale, compounding, or dispensing of drugs in this state shall register biennially and receive a permit from the Board of Pharmacy. Any person desiring to open, operate, maintain, or establish a pharmacy in this state shall apply to the board for a permit at least 30 days prior to the opening of the business. No pharmacy shall open for the transaction of business until it has been registered, inspected, and a permit issued by the board. The application for a permit shall be made on a form prescribed and furnished by the board which when properly executed shall indicate the ownership desiring such permit and the names and license numbers of all licensed pharmacists employed as well as the location of the pharmacy and other information as the board may require. If more than one pharmacy is operated by the same owner, a separate application for registration shall be made and a separate permit issued for each such establishment. All permits issued under this section shall become due on October 31 and shall become null and void on December 31 of even-numbered years. Every application for a permit for a new pharmacy shall be accompanied by a fee to be determined by the board, but said fee shall not be less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than two hundred dollars ($200). Every application for a renewal permit shall be accompanied by a fee to be determined by the board, but the fee shall not be less than fifty dollars ($50) nor more than one hundred fifty dollars ($150). Every application for a permit due to transfer of ownership shall be accompanied by a fee to be determined by the board, but the fee shall not be less than fifty dollars ($50) nor more than one hundred fifty dollars ($150). Each application for the renewal of a permit shall be made on or before October 31 of each even-numbered year, at which time the previous permit shall become null and void on December 31 of even-numbered years. A penalty of twenty-five dollars ($25) for each overdue month shall be assessed in addition to the permit fee for renewal of delinquent permits. The secretary of the board shall issue a permit for each pharmacy whose application is found to be satisfactory by the board. Permits issued under this section shall not be transferable. Any change in the control of ownership or licensed pharmacists shall be reported to the board in writing within 10 days of such occurrence. If the pharmacy is owned by a corporation, the permit shall be issued in the name of the corporation. It shall be the duty of the owners of pharmacies who are not licensed pharmacists to immediately notify the board upon the termination of employment of licensed pharmacists and to cause the surrender of permits as indicated. The further operation of the pharmacy in the absence of licensed pharmacists is forbidden; provided, that the nonregistered owner shall have a period of 30 days within which to comply with this provision. The next of kin of any deceased licensed pharmacist owner shall have a period of 30 days within which to comply with the provisions of this chapter, during which time no prescriptions shall be filled unless a licensed pharmacist is on duty. No mail order pharmacy shall transact business in this state without a permit from the board. 

Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

34-23-33. Disciplinary actions; generally.

The board may revoke, suspend, place on probation, or require remediation for any licensed pharmacist or a holder of a pharmacy intern or extern certificate for a specified time as determined by the board and take the same or similar action against the permit to operate any pharmacy in this state, whenever the board finds by a preponderance of the evidence, or pursuant to a consent decree, that the pharmacist has been guilty of any of the following acts or offenses:
(1) Obtaining the license to practice pharmacy or the permit to operate a pharmacy by fraudulent means.
(2) Violation of the laws regulating the sale or dispensing of narcotics, exempt narcotics or drugs bearing the label “caution, federal law prohibits dispensing without prescription,” or similar wording which causes the drugs to be classified as prescription legend drugs.
(3) Conviction of a felony. A copy of the record of the conviction, certified by the clerk of the court entering the conviction, shall be conclusive evidence of the conviction.
(4) Conviction of any crime or offense that reflects the inability of the practitioner to practice pharmacy with due regard for the health and safety of the patients.
(5) Inability to practice pharmacy with reasonable skill and safety to patients by reason of illness, inebriation, misuse of drugs, narcotics, alcohol, chemicals or any other substance, or as a result of any mental or physical condition. When the issue is whether or not a pharmacist is physically or mentally capable of practicing pharmacy with reasonable skill and safety to patients, then, upon a showing of probable cause to the board that the pharmacist is not capable of practicing pharmacy with reasonable skill and safety to patients, the board may require the pharmacist in question to submit to a psychological examination by a psychologist to determine psychological status or a physical examination by a physician, or both, to determine physical condition. The psychologist or physician, or both, shall be designated by the board. The expense of the examination shall be borne by the board. Where the pharmacist raises the issue of mental or physical competence or appeals a decision regarding his or her mental or physical competence, the pharmacist shall be permitted to obtain his or her own evaluation at the pharmacist’s expense. If the objectivity or adequacy of the examination is suspect, the board may complete the examination by the designated practitioners at its own expense. When mental or physical capacity to practice is at issue, every pharmacist licensed to practice pharmacy in the state shall be deemed to have given consent to submit to a mental or physical examination or to any combination of the examinations and to waive all objections to the admissibility of the examination, or to previously adjudicated evidence of mental incompetence.
(6) Gross malpractice or repeated malpractice or gross negligence in the practice of pharmacy.
(7) Violation of any provisions contained in this chapter.
(8) Employing, assisting or enabling in any manner any unlicensed person to practice pharmacy.
(9) The suspension, revocation, or probation by another state of a license to practice pharmacy. A certified copy of the record of suspension, revocation, or probation of the state making such a suspension, revocation, or probation shall be conclusive evidence of the suspension, revocation, or probation.
(10) Refusal to appear before the board after having been ordered to do so in writing by the executive officer or chair of the board.
(11) Making any fraudulent or untrue statement to the board.
(12) Violation of any rule or regulation of the board.
(13) Violation of the code of professional conduct adopted by the board in the rules and regulations of the board.

34-23-34. Disciplinary actions; statement of charges; notice; burden of proof.

No action to revoke or suspend the license of any pharmacist or the permit to operate any pharmacy in this state shall be taken until the licensee or holder of such permit has been furnished a statement in writing of the charges against him together with a notice of the time and place of hearing. The statement of charges and notice shall be served upon such a person at least 30 days before the date fixed for said hearing, either personally or by registered or certified mail sent to his last known post-office address. The burden of proof shall be on the board.

34-23-70. Requirements and restrictions.

(a) Every pharmacy when opened for business shall be under the personal supervision of a duly licensed pharmacist who shall have personal supervision of not more than one pharmacy at the same time. During temporary absences of the licensed pharmacist, not to exceed three hours daily or more than one and one-half hours at any one time, nor more than one week for temporary illness, the prescription department shall be closed, and no prescriptions are to be filled. During the temporary absence of a pharmacist, a sign shall be placed on the prescription counter in a prominent location easily seen by the public stating, “Prescription Department Closed, No Pharmacist on Duty.”
(b) The permit issued to each pharmacist by the board and the licensure certificates issued to the licensed pharmacist employed by each pharmacy must be prominently and conspicuously displayed in the pharmacy. The name of the licensed pharmacist on duty must be conspicuously displayed in the prescription department in a place readily observable by the public.
(c) No licensed pharmacist or pharmacy operating within this state shall accept for refund purposes or otherwise any unused portion of any dispensed prescription.
(d) The sale of poisons is restricted to the immediate supervision of a licensed pharmacist, and such poison shall not be displayed in a pharmacy in such a manner that a customer may obtain possession of such poisons when standing in an area allocated for customer use. No sale of a poison shall be made or delivered to any minor under 12 years of age or to any person known to be of unsound mind or under the influence of alcohol.
(e) No pharmacy shall authorize any person, firm or business establishment to serve as a pick-up station or intermediary for the purpose of having prescriptions filled or delivered, whether for profit or gratuitously.
(f) No prescription blank supplied by a pharmacy or pharmacist to a practitioner shall bear the imprint thereon of the name or address of any pharmacy or bear the name or address of any person registered under this chapter.
(g) No person shall fill or compound a prescription or drug order in an institution unless he is a duly licensed pharmacist or otherwise permitted to do so under the provisions of this chapter. The act of filling or compounding prescriptions or drug orders in an institution shall be as defined in the rules and regulations adopted by the Board of Pharmacy.
However, such rules and regulations shall not apply to the reading, interpreting and writing or verifying the writing of adequate directions as are necessary to assure patient’s understanding of the prescriber’s intentions by a duly qualified nurse practicing her/his profession in a licensed hospital or similar institution.
Nothing in this chapter shall authorize the Board of Pharmacy to promulgate or to enforce any rule or regulation which governs, regulates or restricts the professional practice of a physician licensed to practice medicine in this state. No provision of this chapter, or any rule promulgated under the authority of this chapter shall be interpreted to amend, alter or modify the provisions of Section 34-23-11.
(h) Only a licensed pharmacist or registered intern may accept an oral prescription of any nature. Upon so accepting such oral prescription, it must immediately be reduced to writing, and only a licensed pharmacist or an intern supervised by a licensed pharmacist may prepare a copy of a prescription or read a prescription to any person for purposes of providing reference concerning treatment of the person or animal for whom the prescription was written; and, when said copy is given, a notation shall be made upon the prescription that a copy has been given, the date given and to whom given.
(i) If a prescription is refilled, a record of the date upon which the prescription is refilled must appear on the prescription or in a permanent prescription record book. On prescriptions which may be refilled, written or oral authorization must be received before refilling unless the number of refills is indicated on the original prescription. Those prescriptions marked “refill prn” or equivalent designation shall be refilled only in quantities commensurate with the dosage scheduled.
(j) Each prescription must be written in a manner so that it can be compounded by any registered pharmacist. The coding of any prescription is in violation of this chapter. No prescription shall be written in any characters, figures or ciphers, other than in the English or Latin language, generally in use among medical and pharmaceutical practitioners.
(k) A prescription file or files shall be kept by every pharmacy for a period of not less than two years in which the original of every prescription compounded or dispensed shall be filed in the order of compounding with number and date of dispensing placed on each prescription. Each pharmacy shall produce any prescription file whenever legally required to do so. Such prescription file shall at all times be open for inspection by the prescriber, the Board of Pharmacy or its inspectors.
(l) All drugs or drug preparations bearing upon the package the words, “caution, federal law prohibits dispensing without prescription” or words to the same effect, otherwise known as “legend drugs,” shall be stored within the confines of the prescription department or the prescription department storage room of each pharmacy. Such drugs shall be sold or dispensed only on the prescription of a licensed practitioner authorized to prescribe such drugs and shall not be sold or dispensed as a refilled prescription except upon the express authorization of the prescriber. This shall not be construed to prohibit return to authorized suppliers or sale or transfer to others licensed to possess legend drugs.
(m) Any person who violates any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

34-23-90. Enforcement of chapter -- Members.

(a) The Alabama State Board of Pharmacy is vested with the authority to carry out the purposes of and enforce this chapter. The board shall consist of five members. The members of the board shall be licensed pharmacists who have been licensed in this state for a minimum of five years and who are actively engaged in the practice of pharmacy or pharmacy administration, or both.
(b) Three members shall be appointed by the Governor. Of the three appointed members, one member shall be engaged in the practice of pharmacy, or pharmacy administration, or both, in a hospital, one in an independent pharmacy, and one in a chain pharmacy. On or before August 1, 1996, and each five years thereafter, or whenever a vacancy occurs in the designated position for hospital pharmacists, the Alabama Society of Health System Pharmacists, or its successor organization, shall submit a list of three nominees to the Governor. On or before August 1, 1994, and each five years thereafter, or whenever a vacancy occurs in the designated position for a chain pharmacist, the Alabama Pharmacy Association, or its successor organization, shall submit a list of three nominees to the Governor. On or before August 1, 1997, and each five years thereafter, or whenever a vacancy occurs in the designated position for the independent pharmacist, the independent pharmacist members of the Alabama Pharmacy Association, or its successor organization, shall submit a list of three nominees to the Governor. From the names submitted to the Governor, the Governor shall appoint a replacement on or before December 31 of the same year the nominations are received, for the member or members whose term or terms are expiring. Background information shall be provided for each nominee for an appointed position.
(c) On or before December 1, 1995, and each five years thereafter, and on or before December 1, 1998, and each five years thereafter, or whenever a vacancy occurs in a nondesignated position, the Board of Trustees of the Alabama Pharmacy Association, or its successor organization, shall select a committee of five pharmacists who are members of the association to serve as a nominating committee. No one on the committee shall be a candidate. The committee shall receive names of pharmacists actively engaged in pharmacy practice or administration, or both, from companies and individuals, and shall narrow the list of nominees to two names to be placed on a ballot to be voted on by all Alabama pharmacists. The election procedure for a nondesignated slot shall be as follows: Each candidate shall provide a biographical sketch of not more than 150 words, which shall include his or her most recent practice experience. The board shall mail election ballots and a biographical sketch of the candidates to Alabama licensed pharmacists by September 1. Completed ballots returned to the board postmarked by October 1 shall be tabulated. A pharmacist receiving a majority of the ballots received shall be considered the winner. If a runoff election is necessary, the runoff ballots shall be mailed to licensed pharmacists by November 1 and returned postmarked by December 1. A canvassing committee consisting of a representative from the Alabama Pharmacy Association, or its successor organization, Alabama Society of Health System Pharmacists, or its successor organization, Auburn University School of Pharmacy, and Samford University School of Pharmacy shall tabulate the ballots.
(d) Any vacancies occurring on the board other than by expiration of term shall be filled by election or appointment only for the unexpired term and shall be filled by the same procedure that the replaced member was elected or appointed. Each member of the board shall serve a term of five years beginning on January 1 following appointment and terminating on December 31 of his or her fifth year as a member of the board.
(e) No pharmacist shall serve two full terms consecutively.
(f) The Governor, upon recommendation of the board, may remove a member of the board upon proven charges of inefficiency, incompetency, immorality, or professional misconduct. The replacement member shall be elected or appointed by the same procedure that the removed member was elected or appointed. Appointees to the board shall within 30 days after their appointment or election take an oath or make affirmation before a properly qualified officer that they will faithfully and impartially perform the duties of their office. This oath or affirmation shall be filed with the Secretary of State. At its last regular meeting in each calendar year, the board shall organize by electing for a term of one year, effective the following January 1, a president, a vice-president, and a treasurer who shall be members of the board. No member shall serve more than two years in the same office on the board during a five-year term. The board shall also elect a secretary who shall not serve as a member of the board and the board shall have the authority to fix the amount of the secretary’s remuneration. If a board member is selected as secretary, the board member shall resign from the board and a replacement on the board shall be selected by the same procedure by which the resigned member was originally elected or appointed. The secretary shall not be employed during the service by any registrant of the board.
(g) For the purpose of this section, a chain pharmacy shall be defined as any retail pharmacy employing in Alabama a minimum of 40 full-time equivalent pharmacists. A chain pharmacist is defined as a pharmacist employed on a full-time basis by a chain pharmacy for a minimum of three years.
(h) It is the intent of the Legislature that the composition of the board reflect the demographics of the pharmacy profession. For vacancies occurring after March 18, 2005, the nominating organizations and the appointing authorities shall select those persons whose appointments ensure that the membership of the board is inclusive and reflects the racial, gender, geographic, urban/rural, and economic diversity of this state.

34-23-92. Powers and duties.

The board shall exercise, subject to the provisions of this chapter, the following powers and duties:
(1) To adopt rules concerning the records and reports to be kept and made by a pharmacy relating to the filling of prescriptions and the handling and preservation of drugs.
(2) To fix standards and requirements for licenses and permits except as otherwise specified in this chapter.
(3) To make rules and regulations regarding sanitation consistent with state health regulations.
(4) To employ such chemists, agents, clerical help and attorneys necessary for the proper administration of the duties of the board.
(5) To employ a chief drug inspector and other drug inspectors not to exceed six that it deems necessary to enforce the provisions of this chapter which are under the supervision of the board.
(6) To adopt rules and regulations for the administration and enforcement of this chapter and not inconsistent herewith. Such rules and regulations shall be referenced to the section or sections of this chapter which set forth the legislative standard which it interprets or to which it applies. Every such rule and regulation shall be adopted in accordance with the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act. A copy of every rule and regulation containing a requirement of general application shall be mailed to each registered pharmacist at least 10 days before the effective date thereof. The failure of a registered pharmacist to receive a copy of such rule or regulation shall not exempt him from the duty of compliance with the valid rules and regulations lawfully issued.
(7) To investigate violations of this chapter or any other law pertaining to the practice of pharmacy that may come to the knowledge of the board and institute or cause to be instituted before the board or in a proper court appropriate proceedings in connection therewith.
(8) To issue subpoenas and compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of all necessary papers, books and records, documentary evidence and materials or other evidence in matters pending before the board relating to the revocation, suspension or probation of any license. Those persons issued subpoenas and compelled to attend hearings or meetings in matters pending before the Board of Pharmacy shall be entitled to witness fees from Board of Pharmacy funds. Claims for witness fees shall be made on accepted State of Alabama voucher forms as appropriate. Travel and mileage expenses shall be reimbursed to witnesses in the amounts officially authorized to the board and its personnel at the time the service to the board of pharmacy is performed.
(9) The members of the board shall have the power and authority to administer oaths in connection with the duties of the board.
(10) The board shall make a written report annually of its receipts and disbursements to the Governor and to the State Pharmaceutical Association. Included in this report shall be the names of all registrants licensed to practice under this chapter and a record of all permits issued during the period covered by the report.
(11) It shall be the duty of the board to enforce the provisions of the State Barbiturate Act, the State Amphetamine Act, the State Narcotic Law and all other laws of the state which pertain to the practice of pharmacy, the examination of applicants, the licensing of pharmacists, the manufacture, packaging, repackaging, production, sale or distribution of drugs, chemicals and poisons, and all laws pertaining to standards for their strength and purity. The board may work in conjunction with other law-enforcement agencies to enforce the provisions of any law pertaining to the practice of pharmacy. Nothing in this section shall be construed to deprive the State Board of Health of any powers or duties otherwise prescribed by law including the enforcement of the narcotic law.
(12) It shall be the duty of the board to investigate alleged violations of this chapter or any rule or regulation published by the board and conduct hearings to revoke, suspend or probate any license or permit granted by the board under the provisions of this chapter and to invoke penalties not to exceed the sum of $1,000.00 for each such violation(s) and to institute any legal proceedings necessary to effect compliance with this chapter; provided, that any person, firm or corporation subjected to such penalty or legal proceedings may take an appeal in accordance with the provisions of Section 34-23-94.
(13) On application of any person and payment of the cost therefor, the secretary of the board shall furnish, under its seal and signed by him, a certified copy of his license or permit, regulation or rule. In any court or proceeding, such copy shall be prima facie evidence of the fact of the issuance of such permit or license and the adoption of such rule or regulation.

34-23-93. Prosecution of violations.

The board and its members and officers shall assist prosecuting officers in the enforcement of this chapter, and it shall be the duty of the board, its members and officers to furnish the proper prosecuting officers with such evidence as it or they may ascertain to assist them in the prosecution of any violation of this chapter, and the board is authorized for such purposes to make such reasonable expenditures from the funds of the board as it may deem necessary to ascertain and furnish such evidence. The Attorney General of the state shall be the attorney for the board, but the board may in its discretion employ other counsel. It shall be the duty of the district attorney of the judicial circuit wherein any offense is committed to prosecute violations of this chapter.

What happens if I am charged with a civil violation?

If you are charged with a violation of the Alabama Pharmacy Act, your license may be temporarily suspended while the charge is investigated. The results of the investigation will be presented to the Alabama State Board of Pharmacy at a hearing, which you may attend with your Pharmacist Defense Attorney, and the Board will decide what action, if any, will follow.

Some violations, such as possession of narcotics (outside of proper licensed activity) may result in criminal charges against you. For administrative sanctions, besides suspending or revoking your license, the Board of Pharmacy is empowered to impose fines and conditions of probation. You may, for instance, be restricted in where you are able to practice (perhaps under the supervision of another pharmacist) or what you are allowed to dispense (if, for instance, your DEA license is suspended).

What is Going to Happen to Me and My License?

In almost all cases of possible serious violations of the Alabama Pharmacy Act, your license may be suspended – this may happen even before an investigation is complete. Notice of a suspension will usually come by mail to your address of record, although it is possible that a drug investigator (an employee of the Alabama State Board of Pharmacy) will serve you and retrieve your license. You must surrender your license if requested by the Alabama Board of Pharmacy or one of its investigators. This is true for all licenses granted by the Board: pharmacy and pharmacist, as well as distributors, manufacturers and licensed technicians.

You may not act or practice in any capacity that requires a license while under a suspension. It behooves you to retain legal counsel as soon as possible – the longer your license remains under suspension, the longer you will continue to lose income. Depending on the offense, your DEA license may also be suspended or revoked.

What should I do if someone from the licensing agency contacts me?

Do not discuss your case with anyone other than your attorney. Alabama Pharmacy Board investigators do not have to give Miranda warnings. You should have your lawyer present for any questioning. Do not sign any documents related to your matter without consulting with your attorney.

The loss of your license to practice is a severe blow. Generally, you will be fired from your current position. The Board of Pharmacy has direct authority in all licensing matters. They can only be overruled by a court order and this is rare, unless harm to the public can be demonstrated by evidence of you being unable to practice your profession.

Because of the huge investment in holding a valid pharmacist or technician license, the suspension or loss of it can be devastating. Financial ruin, serious depression, and the loss of your community’s respect, all combine to make what is otherwise a simple administrative matter into an emotional roller coaster. This is why having an attorney to handle your case is so important. A lawyer who is experienced in pharmacy defense will be able to guide and counsel you. He or she can determine the merits of your case and the possible outcomes, as well as explaining the available options.

What happens if I am charged with a criminal violation?

For a criminal violation, after the initial processing and bail, there can be a long delay before your hearing or trial date. This can even reach multiple years, depending on the court’s calendar, how much time is needed to investigate your case, and the motions filed by your attorney. Often, the wait alone is a great burden. Without an active license, Alabama pharmacists and technicians may be left to seek out other work, just to have an income.

For example, pharmacists have gone to federal prison for selling narcotics over the Internet and were arrested 2 ½ years before. While awaiting resolution and having lost his license, one possibility would include driving a truck and delivering pizza to support the family. This is, unfortunately, common. A large part of the punishment received for violations is the loss of the income and opportunity a valid license allows.

These and other consequences can most of the time be prevented or lessened with the advice and help of a good criminal defense and pharmacy board defense attorney, one who is experienced in defending drug charges and familiar with the policies and procedures of the Alabama Pharmacy Board.

Let Kreps Law Firm defend your Alabama Pharmacy board case. Kreps Law Firm, LLC is located at 502 Montgomery Highway, Suite 202, in Birmingham, Alabama, within minutes of the headquarters . Initial consultation confidential and is free. Call today to discuss your case: (866) 348-2889.

Joseph C. Kreps attended the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree and he earned his Juris Doctorate from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in Birmingham. Following graduation, he founded Kreps Law Firm, LLC, where he currently acts as managing partner. Attorney Kreps focuses his practice in Alabama drug crime and Criminal Defense.