Texas Board of Pharmacy – What You Should Know Before Settling with the Board

Pharmacies and pharmacists (“licensees”) throughout the country are often anxious after learning that a State Board of Pharmacy (“BOP”) is seeking disciplinary action against them. The fear of challenging a BOP’s allegations, the same institution that has the power to suspend or revoke the license which permits a licensee to operate, can be an uncomfortable and intimidating experience. Licensees may contemplate whether it is appropriate to defend against the BOP’s allegations, or alternatively, whether the better approach is to try and settle the case as soon as possible to avoid a conflict. While there may be instances in which a licensee can amicably resolve allegations with a BOP, depending on the nature of the allegations, such alternative remedies may not be available or may require aggressive negotiation to achieve. In Texas, if a licensee is provided with an opportunity to settle with the BOP, it may be presented in the form of a proposed Agreed Board Order or a proposed Remedial Plan. In instances where settlement offers are made by a BOP, including in Texas, a licensee may question whether to accept the BOP’s settlement proposal, try to obtain more favorable terms, or attempt to have the allegations dismissed altogether. These are serious questions which require careful consideration of many different factors.

What Licensees Should Know About Settlements

To make informed decisions whether and when to settle with the Texas BOP, it is important to examine the allegations, the BOP’s proofs, and terms of the BOP’s proposed settlement offer(s) in detail through the lens of knowledgeable legal counsel. An experienced attorney can make an assessment of the strengths or weaknesses of the Texas BOP’s proofs against a licensee by examining the allegations and conferring privately with the licensee. After performing this analysis, if it is determined that it is in a licensee’s best interest to enter into a settlement with the BOP, it is important to have the attorney assist in negotiating favorable terms on your behalf with current and future conditions in mind. If a settlement with the BOP can be reached and is determined to be the best course of action, it is crucial that the language of the settlement agreement is drafted in the most advantageous way possible for the licensee.

How are Licensees First Notified of Settlement Options?

If a licensee is offered a settlement option at the onset of a BOP matter, they will usually be notified in a packet or set of documents known in Texas as a Preliminary Notice Letter (“PNL”). Typically, a PNL will include important information including applicable deadlines, and occasionally, a settlement framework or other alternatives for resolution. Two examples in Texas are proposed Agreed Board Orders or a proposed Remedial Plan—but these are not exhaustive of potential settlement frameworks. Other state Boards may also propose similar alternative settlement frameworks. Given the serious implications of agreeing to settle a matter voluntarily with a BOP, or alternatively, to reject a settlement, Licensees should consult with qualified legal counsel. It is critical for licensees to contact an attorney immediately upon receipt of a PNL or other written correspondence from the Texas BOP and other state BOPs, as there are strict deadlines that must be met and certain courses of action licensees should follow with the guidance of experienced legal counsel.

Frier Levitt’s Board of Pharmacy Experience and How Frier Levitt Can Help

Frier Levitt has represented numerous licensees, including pharmacies and pharmacists, in actions involving various state Boards of Pharmacy, including in the State of Texas. Frier Levitt has also obtained successful results on behalf of various pharmacy clients.

If you are a licensee facing disciplinary action from the Texas BOP or another state BOP, Frier Levitt is prepared to assist you in assessing resolutions, negotiating favorable terms, and speaking at final hearings/trials on the merits before the Texas BOP and other BOPs throughout the country on your behalf. Our attorneys will take an aggressive and strategic approach to defend your rights. If you have received a PNL or other written correspondence from a BOP, contact us to speak with a member of our team.