Published Online: Saturday, March 1, 2008

Legislation recently introduced in the Oklahoma House of Representatives would give the state?s pharmacy board the legal authority to enforce alternative sanctions on pharmacists, beyond revoking a license or imposing a fine.

The issue surfaced when the board ordered a pharmacist who was impaired to contract with an organization that helps pharmacists suffering from chemical dependency, Oklahoma Pharmacists Helping Pharmacists. The pharmacist?s lawyer, however, argued that the board lacked the authority to enforce the order.

"The [state pharmacy] board has always had the right to do other things," noted its executive director, Bryan Potter, who added that the legislation represents a clarification, rather than an expansion, of the board's authority.

The bill (HB 2764) has been approved in subcommittee and now moves to the Oklahoma House Committee on Health.

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