Kansas and Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger Explains the Kansas Pharmacist Complaint and Investigation Process

Given the opioid crisis occurring in the United States and the uptick in complaints against pharmacists, I have recently defended pharmacists accused of violations here in Kansas. As someone who actually provided legal advice to medical boards in the past, I can also tell you that I have seen well-meaning professionals have their lives destroyed because they decided to try to represent themselves. No matter how seemingly inconsequential your case seems, attempting to represent yourself is a massive mistake. Because I have seen a rise in the number of chiropractor complaints over the years, I wrote the following blog post and attached a Kansas Board of Pharmacy overview for your review.

If you are a chiropractor here in Kansas facing an investigation that jeopardizes your professional license, call attorney Sanger today at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free consultation.

You Have a Constitutional Right to Due Process

The Kansas Board of Pharmacy is an administrative arm of the State of Kansas. So when the Kansas Board of Pharmacy begins actions that could result in the loss of your license, that is the state acting to take your property from you. Any time the government acts to restrict your life, liberty, or property it must first provide you with “due process,” a legal term that means you must have an opportunity to know the allegations against you, to review the evidence underlying those allegations, and to have an opportunity to “confront” that evidence in a meeting with an investigator.

While you could probably struggle through an investigation on your own and could likely even sit through a hearing, you want someone by your side that has been through hundreds of proceedings like yours. A licensing attorney can challenge the state’s evidence and can even have it excluded. Similarly, a licensing attorney can effectively cross-examine witnesses and access expert witnesses that can help your case.

The Initial Stage of an Investigation

Most reports received by the Kansas Board of Pharmacy come from consumers as formal complaints, but there are a host of other sources.  Some complaints originate with employers, the court system, law enforcement, neighbors, relatives, or other agencies. Once a complaint comes in, an investigator is assigned to begin gathering facts and evidence. It is vital that you remember that you have the right to legal help throughout the investigative process.

What Does an Investigation Look Like?

State investigators from the Kansas Board of Pharmacy will review medical records, personnel records, agency records, and records of discipline on licensing from other states. They will conduct interviews of witnesses and take their statements. It best if you have documents ready and organized for the investigator’s review and do not make them search for them; obviously, this promotes an air of transparency that can only help your case.

You will also have an opportunity for an interview. It is crucial that you have an experienced licensing attorney help you prepare for your interview and be by your side as it is conducted. This is also an opportunity to provide exculpatory and mitigating evidence to the investigator, and your attorney will help you collect the evidence that is most persuasive.

The investigative process takes six to nine months to complete. Factors such as the availability of evidence, cooperativeness of witnesses, and case complexity influence how long an investigation will take.

What Happens After the Investigation?

The investigator’s work is not complete once the investigation is complete.  The investigative summary and file are forwarded to the Kansas Board of Pharmacists and is reviewed by the Investigative Member of the Board, who decides what disciplinary action should be taken.  Options include, but are not limited to 1) revocation, 2) probation, 3) monetary fines, 4) non-discipline probation agreements, 5) agreements to obtain specific CE courses, and 6) referrals to the impaired provider program.

The Kansas Board of Pharmacy will notify you once they decide your discipline. The Board must approve whatever disciplinary action is recommended against you. While this may seem like the end of the road, it isn’t. You still have an opportunity to appeal this decision to the Kansas courts. However, agency decisions such as disciplinary decisions are given great deference by the courts, so it is more effective and much cheaper to work with an experienced licensing attorney to reduce your discipline at the investigation or Board level.

Contact an Experienced Kansas Licensing Attorney Now

You have worked too hard to attain your pharmacy license.  If you are under investigation, do not agree to any suspension of any kind or speak to an investigator without an attorney to defend you. Your livelihood is at risk, and the challenge facing you is one you cannot navigate alone. Contacting an experienced licensing attorney to help you through this process and can mean the difference between getting back to helping your clients and losing your career forever.

Kansas and Missouri professional licensing attorney Danielle Sanger is prepared to advocate for your best interests and defend you. Call Attorney Sanger at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney prepared to guide you through your licensing issues.