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3 scenarios that can endanger a pharmacist’s professional license

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2023 | Professional License Issues |

Pharmacists are highly-educated professionals who attend roughly as much school as any physician. Instead of diagnosing and treating patients, however, their expertise lies in the administration and preparation of medication. They may even compound medications or mix drug suspensions for intravenous (IV) administration.

Pharmacists often work long shifts either at standalone businesses or inside medical facilities. They may oversee a team of technicians and assistants who help them dispense and prepare medications. Every pharmacist in Pennsylvania is also required to have a license granted by the state.

Some of the decisions that a pharmacist might make on the job could actually put their professional license at risk and could therefore leave them vulnerable to the sudden termination of their career. What situations might lead to the state revoking a pharmacist’s license?

A felony conviction

One of the basic requirements for medical professionals, including pharmacists, is that they hold themselves to a high ethical standard. The Pennsylvania State Board of Pharmacy will perform a background check when someone applies for a pharmacist license and whenever they renew an existing license. If a serious criminal offense shows up on that background check, that could result in the refusal of the board to issue or renew a license. Felonies and offenses related to substance abuse are among those most likely to trigger penalties for a licensed pharmacist.

Gross negligence or errors on the job

All it takes is a few moments of distraction to dispense the wrong medication to a patient or to formulate an IV suspension with the wrong dosage. Such errors can lead to catastrophic medical issues, possibly including the death of the patient involved. Those affected by pharmaceutical errors may notify the Pennsylvania State Board of Pharmacy about the issue. Employers may also send formal notice when there has been an incident involving gross negligence or a major mistake on the part of a licensed Pennsylvania pharmacist.

Documented addiction

If others can make credible claims that a pharmacist’s substance abuse affects their job performance or judgment, the Pennsylvania State Board of Pharmacy could suspend their license. Abusing prescription drugs and prohibited substances can trigger a disciplinary hearing, as could an issue with alcoholism.

Knowing what might put a professional license at risk and responding proactively in such situations will help professionals who have invested heavily in their education protect that investment and their careers.