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Section 4729.16 | Disciplinary actions.

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(A)(1) The state board of pharmacy, after notice and hearing in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, may impose any one or more of the following sanctions on a pharmacist or pharmacy intern if the board finds the individual engaged in any of the conduct set forth in division (A)(2) of this section:

(a) Revoke, suspend, restrict, limit, or refuse to grant or renew a license;

(b) Reprimand or place the license holder on probation;

(c) Impose a monetary penalty or forfeiture not to exceed in severity any fine designated under the Revised Code for a similar offense, or in the case of a violation of a section of the Revised Code that does not bear a penalty, a monetary penalty or forfeiture of not more than five hundred dollars.

(2) The board may impose the sanctions listed in division (A)(1) of this section if the board finds a pharmacist or pharmacy intern:

(a) Has been convicted of a felony, or a crime of moral turpitude, as defined in section 4776.10 of the Revised Code;

(b) Engaged in dishonesty or unprofessional conduct in the practice of pharmacy;

(c) Is addicted to or abusing alcohol or drugs or is impaired physically or mentally to such a degree as to render the pharmacist or pharmacy intern unfit to practice pharmacy;

(d) Has been convicted of a misdemeanor related to, or committed in, the practice of pharmacy;

(e) Violated, conspired to violate, attempted to violate, or aided and abetted the violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, sections 3715.52 to 3715.72 of the Revised Code, Chapter 2925. or 3719. of the Revised Code, or any rule adopted by the board under those provisions;

(f) Permitted someone other than a pharmacist or pharmacy intern to practice pharmacy;

(g) Knowingly lent the pharmacist's or pharmacy intern's name to an illegal practitioner of pharmacy or had a professional connection with an illegal practitioner of pharmacy;

(h) Divided or agreed to divide remuneration made in the practice of pharmacy with any other individual, including, but not limited to, any licensed health professional authorized to prescribe drugs or any owner, manager, or employee of a health care facility, residential care facility, or nursing home;

(i) Violated the terms of a consult agreement entered into pursuant to section 4729.39 of the Revised Code;

(j) Committed fraud, misrepresentation, or deception in applying for or securing a license or identification card issued by the board under this chapter or under Chapter 3715. or 3719. of the Revised Code;

(k) Failed to comply with an order of the board or a settlement agreement;

(l) Engaged in any other conduct for which the board may impose discipline as set forth in rules adopted under section 4729.26 of the Revised Code.

(B) Any individual whose identification card or license is revoked, suspended, or refused, shall return the identification card and license to the offices of the state board of pharmacy within ten days after receipt of notice of such action.

(C) As used in this section:

"Unprofessional conduct in the practice of pharmacy" includes any of the following:

(1) Advertising or displaying signs that promote dangerous drugs to the public in a manner that is false or misleading;

(2) Except as provided in section 4729.281 or 4729.44 of the Revised Code, the dispensing or sale of any drug for which a prescription is required, without having received a prescription for the drug;

(3) Knowingly dispensing medication pursuant to false or forged prescriptions;

(4) Knowingly failing to maintain complete and accurate records of all dangerous drugs received or dispensed in compliance with federal laws and regulations and state laws and rules;

(5) Obtaining any remuneration by fraud, misrepresentation, or deception;

(6) Failing to conform to prevailing standards of care of similar pharmacists or pharmacy interns under the same or similar circumstances, whether or not actual injury to a patient is established;

(7) Engaging in any other conduct that the board specifies as unprofessional conduct in the practice of pharmacy in rules adopted under section 4729.26 of the Revised Code.

(D) The board may suspend a license or identification card under division (B) of section 3719.121 of the Revised Code by utilizing a telephone conference call to review the allegations and take a vote.

(E) For purposes of this division, an individual authorized to practice as a pharmacist or pharmacy intern accepts the privilege of practicing in this state subject to supervision by the board. By filing an application for or holding a license to practice as a pharmacist or pharmacy intern, an individual gives consent to submit to a mental or physical examination when ordered to do so by the board in writing and waives all objections to the admissibility of testimony or examination reports that constitute privileged communications.

If the board has reasonable cause to believe that an individual who is a pharmacist or pharmacy intern is physically or mentally impaired, the board may require the individual to submit to a physical or mental examination, or both. The expense of the examination is the responsibility of the individual required to be examined.

Failure of an individual who is a pharmacist or pharmacy intern to submit to a physical or mental examination ordered by the board, unless the failure is due to circumstances beyond the individual's control, constitutes an admission of the allegations and a suspension order shall be entered without the taking of testimony or presentation of evidence. Any subsequent adjudication hearing under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code concerning failure to submit to an examination is limited to consideration of whether the failure was beyond the individual's control.

If, based on the results of an examination ordered under this division, the board determines that the individual's ability to practice is impaired, the board shall suspend the individual's license or deny the individual's application and shall require the individual, as a condition for an initial, continued, reinstated, or renewed license to practice, to submit to a physical or mental examination and treatment.

An order of suspension issued under this division shall not be subject to suspension by a court during pendency of any appeal filed under section 119.12 of the Revised Code.

(F) If the board is required under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to give notice of an opportunity for a hearing and the applicant or licensee does not make a timely request for a hearing in accordance with section 119.07 of the Revised Code, the board is not required to hold a hearing, but may adopt a final order that contains the board's findings. In the final order, the board may impose any of the sanctions listed in division (A) of this section.

(G) Notwithstanding the provision of division (C)(2) of section 2953.32 of the Revised Code specifying that if records pertaining to a criminal case are sealed under that section the proceedings in the case must be deemed not to have occurred, sealing of the following records on which the board has based an action under this section shall have no effect on the board's action or any sanction imposed by the board under this section: records of any conviction, guilty plea, judicial finding of guilt resulting from a plea of no contest, or a judicial finding of eligibility for a pretrial diversion program or intervention in lieu of conviction. The board shall not be required to seal, destroy, redact, or otherwise modify its records to reflect the court's sealing of conviction records.

(H) No pharmacist or pharmacy intern shall knowingly engage in any conduct described in divisions (A)(2)(b) or (A)(2)(e) to (l) of this section.

The Legislative Service Commission presents the text of this section as a composite of the section as amended by multiple acts of the General Assembly. This presentation recognizes the principle stated in R.C. 1.52(B) that amendments are to be harmonized if reasonably capable of simultaneous operation.

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