(a) The board may initiate a complaint upon receipt of credible information, and shall upon the receipt of a written complaint of any person, cause an investigation to be made to determine whether grounds exist for disciplinary action under this article or the legislative rules promulgated pursuant to this article.
(b) After reviewing any information obtained through an investigation, the board shall determine if probable cause exists that the licensee, registrant or permittee has violated subsection (g) of this section or rules promulgated pursuant to this article.
(c) Upon a finding of probable cause to go forward with a complaint, the board shall provide a copy of the complaint to the licensee, registrant or permittee.
(d) Upon a finding that probable cause exists that the licensee, registrant or permittee has violated subsection (g) of this section or rules promulgated pursuant to this article, the board may enter into a consent decree or hold a hearing for disciplinary action against the licensee, registrant or permittee. Any hearing shall be held in accordance with the provisions of this article, and shall require a violation to be proven by a preponderance of the evidence.
(e) Any member of the board or the executive director of the board may issue subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum to obtain testimony and documents to aid in the investigation of allegations against any person regulated by the article.
(f) Any member of the board or its executive director may sign a consent decree or other legal document on behalf of the board.
(g) The board may, after notice and opportunity for hearing, deny or refuse to renew, suspend, restrict or revoke the license, registration or permit of, or impose probationary conditions upon or take disciplinary action against, any licensee, registrant or permittee for any of the following reasons:
(1) Obtaining a board authorization by fraud, misrepresentation or concealment of material facts;
(2) Being convicted of a felony, other crime involving moral turpitude or a violation of chapter sixty-a of this code.
(3) Being guilty of unprofessional conduct which placed the public at risk, as defined by legislative rule of the board;
(4) Intentional violation of a lawful order or legislative rule of the board;
(5) Having had a board authorization revoked or suspended, other disciplinary action taken, or an application for a board authorization revoked or suspended by the proper authorities of another jurisdiction;
(6) Aiding or abetting unlicensed practice;
(7) Engaging in an act while acting in a professional capacity which has endangered or is likely to endanger the health, welfare or safety of the public;
(8) Incapacity that prevents a licensee or registrant from engaging in the practice of pharmacist care or assisting in the practice of pharmacist care, with reasonable skill, competence, and safety to the public;
(9) Violation of any laws, including rules pertaining thereto, of this or any other jurisdiction, relating to the practice of pharmacist care, drug samples, drug manufacturing, wholesale or retail drug or device distribution, or controlled substances;
(10) Committing fraud in connection with the practice of pharmacist care;
(11) Disciplinary action taken by another state or jurisdiction against a board authorization to practice pharmacist care based upon conduct by the licensee, registrant or permittee similar to conduct that would constitute grounds for actions as defined in this section;
(12) Failure to report to the board any adverse action taken by another licensing jurisdiction, government agency, law- enforcement agency, or court for conduct that would constitute grounds for action as defined in this section;
(13) Failure to report to the board one's surrender of a license or authorization to practice pharmacist care in another jurisdiction while under disciplinary investigation by any of those authorities or bodies for conduct that would constitute grounds for action as defined in this section;
(14) Failure to report to the board any adverse judgment, settlement, or award arising from a malpractice claim related to conduct that would constitute grounds for action as defined in this section;
(15) Knowing or suspecting that a licensee or registrant is incapable of engaging in the practice of pharmacist care or assisting in the practice of pharmacist care, with reasonable skill, competence, and safety to the public, and failing to report any relevant information to the board;
(16) Illegal use or disclosure of protected health information;
(17) Engaging in any conduct that subverts or attempts to subvert any licensing examination or the administration of any licensing examination;
(18) Failure to furnish to the board or its representatives any information legally requested by the board, or failure to cooperate with or knowingly engaging in any conduct which obstructs an investigation being conducted by the board;
(19) Agreeing to participate in a prescription drug product conversion program promoted or offered by a manufacturer, wholesaler or distributor of such product for which the pharmacist or pharmacy received any form of financial remuneration, or agreed to participate in a prescription drug program in which the pharmacist or pharmacy is promoted or offered as the exclusive provider of prescription drug products or whereby in any way the public is denied, limited or influenced in selecting pharmacist care or counseling;
(20) Violation of any of the terms or conditions of any order entered in any disciplinary action.
(h) For the purposes of subsection (g) of this section, effective July 1, 2013, disciplinary action may include:
(6) Administrative fine, not to exceed $1,000 per day per violation;
(7) Mandatory attendance at continuing education seminars or other training;
(8) Practicing under supervision or other restriction; or
(9) Requiring the licensee, registrant or permittee to report to the board for periodic interviews for a specified period of time.
(i) In addition to any other sanction imposed, the board may require a licensee, registrant or permittee to pay the costs of the proceeding.
(j) The board may defer disciplinary action with regard to an impaired licensee or registrant who voluntarily signs an agreement, in a form satisfactory to the board, agreeing not to practice pharmacist care and to enter an approved treatment and monitoring program in accordance with the board's legislative rule. This subsection, provided that this section should not apply to a licensee or registrant who has been convicted of, pleads guilty to, or enters a plea of nolo contendere or a conviction relating to a controlled substance in any jurisdiction.
(k) A person authorized to practice under this article, who reports or otherwise provides evidence of the negligence, impairment or incompetence of another member of this profession to the board or to any peer review organization, is not liable to any person for making such a report if such report is made without actual malice and in the reasonable belief that such report is warranted by the facts known to him or her at the time.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
The West Virginia Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.