4729.23 Confidential information; investigations and inspections.

(A) Except as provided in division (B) of this section, information received by the state board of pharmacy pursuant to an investigation is confidential and is not subject to discovery in any civil action. Any record that identifies a patient, confidential informant, or individual who files a complaint with the board or may reasonably lead to the identification of the patient, informant, or complainant is not a public record for purposes of section 149.43 of the Revised Code and is not subject to inspection or copying under section 1347.08 of the Revised Code.

(B) The board shall conduct all investigations or inspections and proceedings in a manner that protects the confidentiality of patients, confidential informants, and individuals who file complaints with the board. The board shall not make public the names or any other identifying information of patients, confidential informants, or complainants unless proper consent is given or, in the case of a patient, a waiver of the patient privilege exists under division (B) of section 2317.02 of the Revised Code. The consent or waiver is not required if the board possesses reliable and substantial evidence that no bona fide physician-patient relationship exists.

On request, the board may share any information it receives pursuant to an investigation or inspection, including patient records and patient record information, with law enforcement agencies, other licensing boards, and other state or federal governmental agencies that are prosecuting, adjudicating, or investigating alleged violations of statutes or administrative rules. An agency or board that receives the information shall comply with the same requirements regarding confidentiality as those with which the state board of pharmacy must comply, notwithstanding any conflicting provision of the Revised Code or agency procedure that applies when the agency is dealing with other information in its possession.

Any information the board receives from a state or federal agency is subject to the same confidentiality requirements as the agency from which it was received and shall not be released by the board without prior authorization from that agency.

The board may, for good cause shown, disclose or authorize disclosure of information gathered pursuant to an investigation.

(C) Any board activity that involves continued monitoring of an individual for treatment or recovery purposes as part of or following any disciplinary action taken under section 4729.16, 4729.56, or 4729.57 of the Revised Code shall be conducted in a manner that maintains an individual's confidentiality with respect to the individual's treatment or recovery program. Information received or maintained by the board with respect to the board's monitoring activities is not subject to discovery in any civil action and is confidential, except that the board may disclose information to law enforcement officers and government entities for purposes of an investigation of a license or certificate holder.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 49, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2017.