Texas Board of Pharmacy – What You Should Know About Informal Conferences
State Boards of Pharmacy (“BOPs”) throughout the country rely on various types of proceedings, both formal and informal, to handle legal issues with licensees (pharmacies, pharmacists, etc.) conducting business in their state. Oftentimes, less formal proceedings will be conducted with the goal of streamlining the process and working to find a resolution of the underlying issues without the need for more formal, time-consuming, and costly proceedings (hearings, trials, etc.). For example, the Texas State BOP conducts “Informal Conferences” under applicable Texas BOP Rules and Regulations. Although such proceedings are less formal than some other proceedings, Informal Conferences must still be taken seriously.
What Are Informal Conferences in Texas?
The Texas BOP’s Informal Conferences provide licensees an opportunity to meet with the Texas BOP and its members to discuss a possible resolution of potential discipline against the licensee. The Informal Conferences usually involve the licensee, the licensee’s attorney, a panel of Texas BOP members (usually 2-3 BOP members), and an attorney representing the BOP’s interests.
How are Licensees Notified of Informal Conferences and Timing?
Licensees will receive a notice of disciplinary action against them and the possibility of an Informal Conference through a set of documents known in Texas as a Preliminary Notice Letter, abbreviated as “PNL.” Typically, a PNL will include a lot of information regarding relevant deadlines, a summary of the discipline against the licensee, and possibly alternatives for resolution.
Licensees should contact an attorney immediately upon receipt of a PNL from the Texas BOP. Contacting an attorney promptly is crucial because there are strict deadlines to participate in an Informal Conference or to submit information regarding the issue(s) raised by the BOP, which typically must be done several weeks prior to the Informal Conference for the information to be considered. Following the Informal Conference, the BOP panel will likely deliberate so that it can present a recommendation for resolving the case to the licensee.
Frier Levitt’s Informal Conference Experience and How Frier Levitt Can Help
Frier Levitt has vast experience handling Informal Conferences with State BOPs throughout the country, including in Texas, and has obtained successful results on behalf of many clients including pharmacies, pharmacists, and other licensees regulated by State BOPs.
Frier Levitt is prepared to assist licensees in handling State BOP matters including Informal Conferences and other related proceedings. Our attorneys will take an aggressive and strategic approach to defend your rights. If you are a licensee facing disciplinary action from a state BOP, contact us to speak with a member of our team.