Pharmacist Jailed on Drug Charges Battles for Pharmacy License

November 12, 2014
Meghan Ross, Associate Editor

A pharmacist who pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and money laundering charges in 2012 is trying his hardest to hold onto his pharmacy license, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

A pharmacist who pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and money laundering charges in 2012 is trying his hardest to hold onto his pharmacy license, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Christopher Switlyk’s former pharmacy doled out 2.8 million doses of oxycodone over a 17-month period, which is 35 times the national average, according to government records. He owned and operated TNC Pharmacy in Tampa, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Switlyk could be released from jail in 5 years, with 3 years of supervised release throughout which he will not be allowed to dispense drugs, as requested by his sentencing judge.

For now, Switlyk’s license is under emergency suspension, but he has made 2 attempts to persuade authorities to allow him to keep his license and federal drug registration. The Tampa Bay Times noted that Switlyk went so far as to teleconference into a licensure hearing.

Records show that the Florida Board of Pharmacy revoked his license on November 3, 2014. However, the administrative law judge who recommended revocation pointed out the Tampa man could apply for a new license after his release from federal custody and supervision, as long as he continues treatment for his alcohol addiction and emotional issues, the paper reported.

Down the road, the DEA has the power to grant pharmacists the authority to dispense drugs, but a spokesman said a pharmacist has to “be in the good graces of a state medical board” to get registered. He noted the chances of that happening in this case are slim, the Tampa Bay Times reported.