How to File a Complaint
You may have a complaint against a pharmacy, pharmacist, or pharmacy technician licensed by the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy. The following information should help you decide if and how you should file a complaint.
How do I file a complaint against a pharmacy, pharmacist, or pharmacy technician?
- Anyone may file a complaint against a pharmacy, pharmacist, or pharmacy technician, but complaints must be received in written form.
- You are not required to use our complaint form but if you wish to do so, you may download and print that form, complete it, and then mail, fax, or email it to the address noted in the upper left corner of the form.
- If you are unable to download and print the complaint form, you may call our office at 225.925.6496 and request us to mail a copy of the form to you.
- Please describe your complaint in detail; include facts, dates, and names of persons involved. If your complaint involves a prescription, please provide information from the prescription label.
How are complaints resolved?
- Each complaint is reviewed and evaluated, first to determine if the complaint or allegations involves a pharmacy or person licensed by this Board, and secondly, whether the allegations, if true, would be a violation of the Louisiana Pharmacy Practice Act or Louisiana Controlled Substance Law.
- If the complaint is not under our jurisdiction, we may refer the complaint to another agency, or we may close the complaint with no action.
- Please note: The Board of Pharmacy does not have jurisdiction over complaints involving rudeness, customer service, and/or pricing/billing disputes.
- If the complaint is within the jurisdiction of the Board of Pharmacy, the complaint may be referred to a pharmacist compliance officer for investigation.
- The compliance officer may contact you for additional information about your complaint, so please provide your telephone number on the complaint form. If you do not have a telephone or do not want us to call, we will write to the address you have provided on the complaint form if we need more information.
- Many complaints are closed with a verbal or written warning. If a complaint results in disciplinary action against the pharmacy or person, the action may range from a formal Letter of Warning to a formal Letter of Reprimand to Probation [active license but restricted in some manner] to Suspension [inactive license unable to practice] to Revocation [licese removed]. Further, the Board may levy a fine as well as recover its administrative and investigative costs.
- The Board does not represent the complainant (person making the complaint) and does not have authority to seek restitution or money damages on behalf of the complainant or any other individual.
What happens if disciplinary action is initiated?
- In taking action against a licensee, the Board is required to comply with the provisions of the Louisiana Administrative Procedures Act, which identies the procedures to be used by the Board during its disciplinary proceedings.
- The licensee is given the opportunity to attend an informal conference with the Board's Violations Committee. The Board will notify the licensee of the date, time, and place of the conference, as well as the issues to be discussed. Since the informal conference is usually conducted in executive session, the complainant is not permitted to attend. The licensee may be represented by an attorney.
- During the informal conference, the licensee is provided an opportunity to demonstrate his compliance with the pharmacy laws and rules. Following the presentation of the case and deliberation, the committee generally has three options: to take no further action, to refer the matter for a formal administrative hearing, or most commonly, to offer a voluntary consent agreement - wherein the licensee admits to some type of violation and in return, receives a sanction likely to be less severe than the potential sanction following a formal administrative hearing.
- When the committee offers a consent agreement and the licensee consents to the agreement, then the agreement is presented to the full Board at their next meeting. If the Board accepts the consent agreement, the order is entered and is final.
- When the licensee does not accept the proposed consent agreement, or if the Board rejects the proposed consent agreement, the case will be referred to a formal administrative hearing conducted by the Board at their next meeting. During the administrative hearing, which is recorded by a court reporter, the Board will receive testimony and evidence, deliberate on the matter, and then render Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and a Proposed Order.
- Once the Board has rendered its Proposed Order, the licensee may appeal the Board's decision to the state court system, in accordance with Louisiana law. When the time for appeals has expired, then the Board's decision becomes a Final Order.
Will I be informed as to the resolution of my complaint?
- We will notify you in writing when the complaint is closed and any final disciplinary action has been taken.
- Due to the existing caseload for the compliance officers, It is difficult to predict, in advance, the amount of time necessary to investigate and resolve a specific complaint.