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My pharmacy license was denied—what should I do?

As an up-and-coming pharmacist, you have studied long and hard to have a successful career. You have cleared every hurdle and are ready to enter the field as a professional pharmacist. Now, you have applied for your license with the State of California—only to have it rejected.

If you are a pharmacist and your license application has been denied, you are probably wondering what your next step should be. There are several reasons why the California State Board of Pharmacy would deny an applicant’s pharmacy license: Disciplinary action, arrest and conviction are three of the most common. Fortunately, the board does have options for pharmacists whose applications have been denied.

Appealing a denial

When pharmacists’ license applications are denied, they have the right to appeal the board’s decision. Filing an appeal is not always an easy process. It can be an administrative headache that is often fraught with legal complications. Some pharmacists even choose to work with an attorney during the process. When considering an appeal, you should know the series of steps that you will have to take.

  • Submit a written appeal

The first step is to submit an appeal to the California State Board of Pharmacy. Your appeal must be in writing, and you must file it within 60 days of receiving your denial. If you do not follow these two requirements, you will lose your right to an appeal hearing.

  • Attend a formal hearing

Then, you will have the opportunity to attend a formal hearing. All of these hearings are presided over by an administrative law judge and attended by a deputy attorney general. Before your hearing date, the board will send you a document detailing the reasons why it denied your license. You will have a chance to address the board’s concerns with your application; you may also present witnesses and any other evidence that you feel is relevant to your case. Many pharmacists choose to hire an attorney to represent them for this portion of their appeal.

  • Receive a final decision

After your hearing comes the judge’s final decision. Like the board, the judge will prepare a detailed, written document enumerating the reasons for your license’s acceptance or denial. If the judge agrees with the board’s rejection, then your license will remain overturned for at least one year.

  • Reapply for a license

If the judge does overturn your license, hope is not lost. You still have the chance to receive your pharmacy license. One year after you receive the judge’s written decision, you may file the paperwork to apply for your pharmacy license once again.

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