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AB-2131 Pharmacy licenses: letters of reprimand.(2013-2014)

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Amended  IN  Assembly  April 02, 2014

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2131


Introduced by Assembly Member Morrell

February 20, 2014


An act to add Section 4310.5 to the Business and Professions Code, relating to pharmacy.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2131, as amended, Morrell. Pharmacy licenses: letters of reprimand.

Under the Pharmacy Law the California State Pharmacy Board licenses and regulates pharmacists. The board may

Existing law, the Pharmacy Law, provides for the regulation and licensure of pharmacists by the California State Pharmacy Board. Existing law authorizes the board to refuse to license an applicant guilty of unprofessional conduct or issue to issue, at its sole discretion, a probationary license to an applicant who has met all other licensure requirements.
This bill would authorize the board to issue a license to an applicant who has committed minor violations that the board deems, in its discretion, do not merit the denial of a certificate license or require probationary status, and to concurrently issue a public letter of reprimand, as specified. The bill would require the letter of reprimand to, among other things, describe in detail the nature and facts of the violation and inform the licensee that he or she may accept the letter of reprimand without challenge or, within 30 days of service of the letter, submit a written request for an office conference to contest the letter of reprimand. The bill requires the executive director of the board, or his or her designee, to hold an office conference with the licensee and his or her legal counsel or authorized representative, if any, within 30 days of receipt of the request, as specified. The bill authorizes the executive officer, or his or her designee, to affirm, modify, or withdraw the letter of reprimand and requires the executive officer, or his or her designee, to provide the licensee with a written decision within 14 calendar days from the date of the office conference. The bill would require a letter of reprimand issued concurrently with a board license to be purged 3 years from the date of issuance, as specified. The bill would require a letter of reprimand to be disclosed to an inquiring member of the public and posted on the board’s Internet Web site.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 4310.5 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

4310.5.
 (a) Notwithstanding subdivision (c) of Section 4300, the board may issue a license to an applicant who has committed minor violations that the board deems, in its discretion, do not merit the denial of a certificate license or require probationary status under Section 4300, and may concurrently issue a public letter of reprimand.
(b) The letter of reprimand shall be in writing and shall describe in detail the nature and facts of the violation, including a reference to the statutes or regulations violated.
(c) The letter of reprimand shall inform the licensee that within 30 days of service of the letter of reprimand the licensee may do either of the following:
(1) Submit a written request for an office conference to the executive officer of the board to contest the letter of reprimand.
(A) Upon a timely request, Within 30 days of receipt of the request, the executive officer, or his or her designee, shall hold an office conference with the licensee or and the licensee’s legal counsel or authorized representative representative, if any. Unless so authorized by the executive officer, or his or her designee, no individual other than the legal counsel or authorized representative of the licensee may accompany the licensee to the office conference.
(B) Prior to or at the office conference, the licensee may submit to the executive officer officer, or his or her designee, declarations and documents pertinent to the subject matter of the letter of reprimand.
(C) The office conference is intended to be an informal proceeding and shall not be subject to the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340), Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 11370), Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 11400), and Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code).
(D) The executive officer, or his or her designee, may affirm, modify, or withdraw the letter of reprimand. Within 14 calendar days from the date of the office conference, the executive officer, or his or her designee, shall personally serve or send by certified mail to the licensee’s address of record with the board a written decision. This decision shall be deemed the final administrative decision concerning the letter of reprimand.
(E) Judicial review of the decision may be had by filing a petition for a writ of mandate in accordance with the provisions of Section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure within 30 days of the date the decision was personally served or sent by certified mail. The judicial review shall extend to the question of whether or not there was a prejudicial abuse of discretion in the issuance of the letter of reprimand.
(2) The licensee may accept the letter of reprimand without challenge. The board shall inform the licensee that the letter of reprimand shall be purged after three years if no letter of admonishment, citation, notice of correction, or disciplinary action is initiated by the board within those three years.
(d) The letter of reprimand shall be served upon the licensee personally or by certified mail at the applicant’s address of record with the board. If the applicant is served by certified mail, service shall be effective upon deposit in the United States mail.
(e) A public letter of reprimand issued concurrently with a board license shall be purged three years from the date of issuance if no letter of admonishment, citation, notice of correction, or disciplinary action is initiated by the board during the three-year period.
(f) A public letter of reprimand issued pursuant to this section shall be disclosed to an inquiring member of the public and shall be posted on the board’s Internet Web site.
(g) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the board’s authority to issue an unrestricted license.